PRIME MINISTER ERDOĞAN:
"So-called Journalists are Police Murderers and Molesters"
After the release of the RSF World Press Freedom Index, PM Erdoğan announced that his government had opened the way to freedom of expression. The PM said that people in the west were not able to understand the arrests of journalists because western journalists did not incite a coup.
İstanbul - BIA News Center
27 January 2012, Friday
"A campaign against Turkey is being run by police murderers, sexual molesters and supporters of a coup by calling them journalists" said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about imprisoned journalists during his speech given on the occasion of 25th establishment anniversary of Zaman newspaper on 25 January.
Erdoğan said that they revealed the allegations against journalists and the reasons for their punishments. The prime minister emphasized that the journalists were arrested on the grounds of possessing fire guns or explosives, forgery of documents, sexual harassment, terrorism or coup attempts.
"The West do not understand us"
As reported by T24, Erdoğan said in his speech at the Zaman newspaper ceremony that the balance between media freedom and terrorism had to be observed and that an according distinction was necessary.
Erdoğan indicated that identifying someone as a target, incitation, distortion and concealment did not equal press freedom and freedom of expression.
His statement came at the same day the current World Press Freedom Index was released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Turkey ranks on place no. 148 out of a total of 179 countries. Erdoğan underlined that countries in the west were not able to understand Turkey because they were not facing journalists who were inciting a coup d'état.
PM Erdoğan also criticized the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) for going abroad and denigrating Turkey by calling police murderers "journalists". He declared that this campaign against Turkey was incompatible with the love for the homeland and nation.
Freedom of Expression is not restricted...
Erdoğan mentioned that headlines were dominated by war until today and that the government opened the way to freedom of expression in order to avoid the sufferings experienced in the past.
The prime minister put forward that they were struggling to build an atmosphere where nobody felt threatened or oppressed and where everybody was able to speak and write freely in the language they prefer. (EKN)