The media cannot hide behind freedom of the press if it upsets the country’s “national interests,” Prime Minister
(PKK) head Abdullah Öcalan.
“There cannot be a limitless freedom. If the media is ... free to the extent of reporting via violating national interests and exploiting freedom, [the government can also criticize them in turn],” he said, while noting that they were against “censorship.”
Elsewhere, the Nationalist Movement Party declared Öcalan and Erdoğan to be “Siamese twins,” while the Peace and Democracy Party said it was open to other parties aiding in the release of the PKK’s captives.
CHP calls on scribes to resist pressure
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
has called on journalists to be courageous and resist pressures imposed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“The ruling party mentions press freedom on one hand, but [then] pressures newspapers on their coverage of certain stories. The government asks a newspaper to fire two journalists. I’m appealing to all journalists; be courageous and brave. Don’t bow down to the AKP. You resisted all coups such as the March 12, 1971 coup and the Sept. 12, 1980 coup. You should resist the AKP coup as well,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in his address to his party’s parliamentary group March 5.
In mentioning “two journalists” Kılıçdaroğlu was referring to rumors that appeared on Internet media websites March 5 claiming Milliyet, a leading Turkish newspaper that came under fire from the government for publishing the minutes of a second parliamentarian visit to the jailed leader of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party
(PKK) Abdullah Öcalan, was allegedly asked by the government to fire two columnists Hasan Cemal and Can Dündar. The rumors had not yet been confirmed when the Hürriyet Daily News
went to print.
Reiterating his call to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
to comment on the content of the leaked records of the parliamentarians’ visit to Öcalan, Kılıçdaroğlu said they do not trust Erdoğan regarding talks with Öcalan.
“The nation has been humiliated in having been informed about bargains regarding its destiny through the leader of a terrorist organization. The only thing the prime minister says is ‘Trust me.’ This is the most disproportionate demand from the nation. Erdoğan lied to this nation about talks with Öcalan and he asks us to trust him. Erdoğan, we don’t trust you, because we don’t trust liars,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.