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POLITICS > I am against all censorship: Turkish PM Erdoğan

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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.”

July/24/2012

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Mark Tak

7/25/2012 6:31:50 AM

I am against all censorship Really? what about the people Dogan holding to silence Hurriyet and others, puting the best Doctor in Jail for years without the trial, turning Turks aginst their won neigboors and bringing close to war with Syria,humiliating Turkish nation in front of the World and making Israel an enemy of Turkish people,aloow Mollas take power in highest state of Goverement, putting a stain on Turkish Arm forces, accusing a General who could removed you if he wanted to with terror

Sev Cihan

7/24/2012 5:35:16 PM

its not april u know that right?

mara mcglothin

7/24/2012 2:58:37 PM

"Insulting" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I do believe that PM "insults" quite a few peoples' intelligence on a regular basis. Do you think I can sue? Practice what you preach and then you can talk!

Johanna Dew

7/24/2012 1:24:51 PM

Even suing cartoonists who made a joke about him...yeah...and the Eskimo's live in the Sahara...etc.

Faruk Beisser

7/24/2012 10:36:27 AM

Wonderful! Turkey's top censor is against censorship! Then why are so many journalists in prison for criticizing him?

Recep Ozel

7/24/2012 10:35:33 AM

Today Turkey is no. 148 in the press freedoms index, just ahead of Mexico, Afganistan, and Pakistan (the world's deadliest place for journalists). The number of laws passed that limit free speech, the number of journalists in prison with no trial dates, the level of internet censorship that AKP has put in place, and the student protesters that are given harsh sentences as if they were hard criminals contradicts everything this man has said.

Michael Johnson

7/24/2012 10:18:29 AM

Is this a joke? Erdogan's actions of the past are totally contrary to this statement. Erdogan will censor anything that doesn't conform to his notions of acceptable behavior.

Nikos T.

7/24/2012 8:33:46 AM

Well done Hurriyet. The joke of the day! :-)
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