ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Censorship is unacceptable and obstructive, not only in literature, but also in the arts, media, politics and other fields, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
has said in an interview with The Istanbul Review magazine.
“Freedom of expression is a field we are very keen on, one the standards of which we raise with each passing day. We have defended and we will keep on defending the expression of opinions
with utmost freedom given that they do not interfere with others’ area of freedom, not violating individual rights and freedoms by insulting,” Erdoğan said.
There have been periods when bans and restrictions were in effect in the country, affecting opinions, literature and the media.
“Not only in our youth, also in our recent history, we have experienced these pressures intimately. I am a politician who has been convicted because I cited a poem which is even in textbooks. I am a prime minister who knows very well what freedom of expression and freedom of opinion mean.” ‘I keep a journal’
Despite his extremely busy schedule, Erdoğan said in the interview that he tries to keep in touch with the world of books and literature, and not to become alienated from it. “Even though I don’t have a chance to read [most publications] from beginning to end, I try to follow the world of publishers and the press,” he said.
Asked, “Do you write? If not, is there a book or poem that makes you say, ‘I wish I had written that,’” Erdoğan said: “Journals and memoirs are, as you know, evaluated as forms of literature. In that sense, yes I do write. Every day, when I have the opportunity, I keep a journal and note developments. Maybe in the future I will use these journals as a basis for writing my memoirs.”