ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Those who say there’s no freedom of the press in Turkey are liars,’ Arınç says. AA photo
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has rebuffed criticisms that Turkey has problems in the area of freedom of the press, accusing those who say so of lying.
“Those who say there’s no freedom of the press in Turkey are liars. Those who say theirs is censorship in Turkey are liars. There’s enough freedom of the press in Turkey,” Arınç said late Wednesday on a live TV show on private news channel CNNTürk.
There are about 70 people in prison who identify themselves as journalists. “Some of them are behind bars due to simple offences. Some of them are being accused [for reasons related to] their journalistic activities...There are only one or two people who are on trial because of what they have written,” Arınç said. The third judicial package contains some changes related to press freedom, Arınç said. “Those who complain about Turkey abroad, as though hundreds of journalists are in prison, have ideological aims. Their primary objective is to weaken the government.”
In further comments, Arınç praised Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
as “the true hero of the people,” adding that he bursts into tears when he sees the people’s sympathy for Erdoğan. “Erdoğan is a true leader. He is the true hero of the people. His charisma is undeniable. His influence is perfect, and the public loves him so much. When I see the sympathy for Erdoğan, I become happy as lark; I shed tears of joy. No one else has these qualities,” Arınç said.