Turkey – Politics – Media – Trial – Democracy

Turkey’s Erdogan Rejects ‘Lessons in Democracy’ from West

Turkey’s Erdogan Rejects ‘Lessons in Democracy’ from West
Tue Apr 5, 2016 10:22:00

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday lashed out at the West for giving Turkey “lessons in democracy,” rejecting mounting US and EU criticism over an alleged clampdown on press freedoms under his rule.

“Those who attempt to give us lessons in democracy and human rights must first contemplate their own shame,” Erdogan told a meeting of the Turkish Red Crescent in Ankara.

US President Barack Obama warned last week that Turkey’s approach towards the media was taking it “down a path that would be very troubling.”

Erdogan’s comments came as local media reported the fresh arrest of five opposition journalists on Monday, without giving details on who they were.

Turkey’s government has been accused of increasing authoritarianism and muzzling critical media as well as lawmakers, academics, lawyers and NGOs.

Two journalists from the leading opposition daily Cumhuriyet face life in prison after being charged with revealing state secrets over a story accusing the government of seeking to illicitly deliver arms to rebels in Syria.

Erdogan met with Obama in Washington last week, and defended press freedom in Turkey, saying some publications had branded him a “thief” and a “killer” without being shut down.

“Such insults and threats are not permitted in the West,” he claimed.

Erdogan on Monday again slammed the Constitutional Court for allowing the two journalists to be released during their trial. The reporters had spent three months in detention until the decision was handed down in February.

He said that the Constitutional Court had “betrayed its very existence” with the ruling.

On Monday, a Turkish court issued arrest warrants for several opposition journalists, five of whom were detained, local media reported.

The reporters are also accused of belonging to a “terrorist group” — the usual official parlance for the grouping run by Erdogan’s arch foe Fethullah Gulen who is accused of being behind the graft claims, AFP reported.

S/SH 11

string(1512) "[{"id":"1805259","sort":"3523811","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/04/05/alalam_635954453184196419_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Turkey’s Erdogan Says Azerbaijan Will ‘One Day’ Regain Nagorny Karabakh"} ,{"id":"1801760","sort":"3523812","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/24/alalam_635944216796608817_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Erdogan Thinks There Should Be No Permanent UN Security Council Members"} ,{"id":"1801415","sort":"3523813","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/23/alalam_635943269486222390_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"VIDEO: Turkey’s Erdogan Knew about Brussels Terrorist Attacks?"} ,{"id":"1800949","sort":"3523814","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/21/alalam_635941910886485864_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Erdogan: Turkey Faced with Bloodiest, Biggest Wave of Terror"} ,{"id":"1800228","sort":"3523815","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/19/alalam_635939703907267984_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"PKK Kurdish Terrorists May Launch Offensives on Europe: Turkish President Erdogan"} ,{"id":"1798322","sort":"3523816","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/13/alalam_635934825075450373_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Erdogan May Become Even More Isolated"} ,{"id":"1797768","sort":"3523817","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/11/alalam_635933171708513213_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"VIDEO: Kurds in Turkey Accuse Erdogan for Mass and Genocidal Massacre"} ,{"id":"1794897","sort":"3523818","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/02/alalam_635925371602858828_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"1,800+ Cases Opened in Turkey over Insulting Erdogan"} ]"