Concerned over media freedoms, US urges Turkey to uphold ‘universal democratic values’
NEW YORK – Doğan News AgencyThe United States continues to have concerns about media freedoms in Turkey, State Department Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau has said regarding the results of the Nov. 1 snap elections, while urging the country to “uphold universal democratic values.”
Speaking during a daily press briefing on Nov. 2, Trudeau remarked on the results of the snap elections on Nov. 1, in which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) won by a landslide, garnering enough seats for a return to single-party rule.
“The United States looks forward to working with the newly-elected parliament and with the future government,” Trudeau said, without naming a specific political party. “As a friend and NATO ally, we are committed to continuing our close cooperation with Turkey,” she added.
However, Trudeau also commented on the OSCE’s preliminary findings on the elections, which highlighted restrictions on media freedom.
“The media outlets and individual journalists critical of the government were subject to pressure and intimidation during the campaign, seemingly in a manner calculated to weaken political opposition,” Trudeau said.
“We urge Turkish authorities to ensure their actions uphold the universal democratic values enshrined in Turkey’s constitution,” she added.
When asked specifically whether the U.S. believed the elections were unfair due to restrictions on the media, Trudeau opted to wait for the full OSCE report that is expected to be released soon.
“We understand that a full report from the OSCE will come out later, so we’ll wait on that, but we’ve spoken very forcefully from this podium on our concerns on media freedom in Turkey,” she concluded.