Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Espionage against Turkey: Turkish PM claims case of journalists who reported on Syria trucks not free speech issue.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said a court case against journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül cannot be viewed as an issue of freedom of speech, insisting that their coverage of an alleged illegal arms transfer to Syria in 2014 was a matter of "espionage."

"These reports pertain to espionage. The issue is about aid materials sent to Syrian Turkmens. This is not a matter of two journalists expressing their opinion," he told a news conference. The government has previously claimed that the trucks that were the subject matter of the Cumhuriyet daily's reporting were carrying aid.

Dündar, the editor-in-chief of the daily, and Gül, the paper's Ankara representative, were freed last week after spending 92 days in jail, following a Constitutional Court decision that said their imprisonment amounted to a rights violation. The top court said Dündar and Gül's right to freedom and security, right to express and disseminate thought, and the freedom of press under Articles 19, 26 and 28 of the Constitution, respectively, were violated.

Arguing that Dündar and Gül can only petition the top court against a court ruling to keep them in jail awaiting trial, Davutoğlu said the presentation of the case as one of a freedom of media was a "clear interference in the ongoing trial."

  • He said it would be wrong to let the Constitutional Court's decision affect their trial.

Dündar and Gül are still facing life in prison on charges of "espionage" and "aiding a terrorist organization." Their trial is set to begin later this month.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who had promised punishment of Dündar for the report, said he does "not obey or respect" the Constitutional Court's decision, insisting that media freedom cannot be unlimited.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş attempted earlier this week to clarify Erdoğan's remarks targeting the country's highest court, saying he had expressed his personal opinion on the matter. However, a chief advisor to Erdoğan responded, writing on Twitter that Erdoğan had spoken as the "head of the government."

Asked to comment on Erdoğan advisor's remarks, Davutoğlu said he would not comment on the statements of a bureaucrat.




No comments:

Post a Comment

Only News

Featured Post

US Democratic congresswoman : There is no difference between 'moderate' rebels and al-Qaeda or the ISIS

United States Congresswoman and Democratic Party member Tulsi Gabbard on Wednesday revealed that she held a meeting with Syrian Presiden...

Blog Widget by LinkWithin