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Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rebuffed Turkish columnists who criticized Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s visit to Myanmar, calling on media bosses to not continue to employ such journalists in their news outlets. 

“Some [columnists] wrote articles asking why the foreign minister went to Myanmar. ‘I understand the visit of the prime minister’s wife and daughter, but why does the foreign minister go,’ they said. I’m addressing the media boss [who owns that newspaper]; shame on you. How do you keep these men as columnists? You give columns to those who don’t have any ambition, passion and excitement. They are strangers to this nation and the history of this nation. They are not worried by the worries of this nation,” Erdoğan said late Saturday in Istanbul at an iftar dinner.

Some Turkish columnists criticized Foreign Minister Davutoğlu’s visit to the sectarian conflict hit southeastern Asian country.

Cüneyt Özdemir, a columnist for daily Radikal, and Daily Milliyet columnist, Aslı Aydıntaşbaş criticized Davutoğlu’s visit to Myanmar, indicating that conflict in Syria was much heavier than that in Myanmar and that Turkey should be concerned with Syria first. 

“Aleppo is where we should go before Rohingya. I’m saying this in the name of humanity, not for the Muslim matter,” Aytıntaşbaş wrote on Aug. 9.

August/13/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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Recep Ozel

8/13/2012 12:59:11 PM

Erdoğan had 6 journalists fired from Akşam newspaper last week. Our PM and AKP has already had hundreds of journalists fired and put in prison. The profession of journalism no longer exists in Turkey, only the opportunity to be a media outlet for AKP. Also, note Turkey is 148th in the latest Press Freedoms Index, 3 places ahead of the world's most dangerous place for journalists that is Pakistan, and behind countries like Malawi, Columbia, and Russia.

The Prisoner

8/13/2012 12:06:14 PM

Arrogance and ignorance are the norm for the Sultan!

mehmet çalışkan

8/13/2012 10:48:09 AM

PM Turkey as soon as the opportunity slams media. this behaviour is strictly second class.

HDNblogger

8/13/2012 10:45:05 AM

Foreigner, and do you think they would've moved so fast with the aid had those people been Christians? Or even Atheists? Political point-scoring again by the new religious-republic. The PM should be ashamed of his comments! Personally insulting journalists for their opinions and claiming they are 'strangers to this country' just because he has an opposing view is a big shame for a man who is supposed to represent every Turk. You work for us Mr PM - it's not a case of 'your way or the highway'.

sam stevens

8/13/2012 10:19:27 AM

Oh dear has the PM forgotten the spirit of Ramadan ?

Morse Fan

8/13/2012 7:09:15 AM

It would be unhealthy for Mr. Davutoglu to work on only on Syria issues, important though they are. He would lose perspective. A trip of this type actually provides that, so it may have been a good idea for that reason alone. I'm not arguing for frivolity, and I did think the same as these columnists at first. But the worst he could do is allow himself to get mired "in Syria."

Diren Sesel

8/13/2012 2:42:09 AM

Once again Erdogan bashing against the freedom of press.

Foreigner .

8/13/2012 12:51:44 AM

I guess only in Turkey you''ll read such 'criticism'. Mr. Davutoglus visit is to be commended. He is perhaps the only leader to pay such a visit to a people that is being brutally murdered. Well, I guess some in Turkey still cannot get accustomed to their country becoming a global player. They are too used to undermine their own country. Pity!
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