Free press vital for Turkey, says Ambassador Ricciardone
ANKARA - Hürriyet | 2/16/2011 12:00:00 AM |
Francis Ricciardone, the new US ambassador to Turkey, has said he does not understand how Turkish journalists can be detained while at the same time addresses about freedom of speech are given.
Francis Ricciardone, the recently appointed U.S. ambassador to Turkey, on Tuesday said he did not understand how Turkish journalists could be detained while at the same time addresses about freedom of speech are given.
Ricciardone made the remarks at a reception in Ankara on Tuesday night, Hürriyet daily has reported on its website.
"Journalists are being detained on the one hand, while addresses about freedom of speech are given on the other. We do not understand this, so we ask you," he told journalists.
Regarding the recent raid on news web portal Oda TV, which is a staunch critic of the current government, Ricciardone said he did not know about the charges against the site or any details about the matter.
"Turkey wants a free press. Turkish people want a critical press even if it is a dissident one. The opposition parties and the government say they support freedom of the press. We are following the process closely. Journalists are being detained on the one hand, while addresses about freedom of the speech are given on the other. We do not understand this. The Turkish people's opinion is important. But freedom of the press and freedom of speech are vital for Turkey, the United States and the people of this region," Ricciardone said.