Only six journalists in prison, Turkish PM says
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
AFP PhotoTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has again slammed the opposition for criticizing the government on freedom of the press, saying only six of the country’s 105 reportedly detained journalists have press identification.
"There are accountants, engineers, office staff, newspaper delivery people on this list," the prime minister said at a Justice and Development Party meeting. "These [people] are made to look like journalists."
Erdoğan said main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was out to "slander" his own country by complaining to the world about "people detained over terror charges who are not even journalists."
"Ten journalists were detained in Britain last week over bribing the police forces," Erdoğan said. "I don't see the opposition party members going around the world slamming their own country."
Erdoğan described the flow of criticism as "dark propaganda" that Turkey "does not deserve."
Israel raided TV stations: PM
Kılıçdaroğlu is practically doing Israel’s work, Erdoğan also said, referring to a previous comment by the opposition leader on the lack of detained journalists in Israel.
"He even once said that there were no detained journalists in Israel, but over 100 here in Turkey. Let's remind him about the Israeli raid just last week on two Palestinian TV stations," Erdoğan said.
"The CHP [Republican People’s Party] has been the opposition for nine years now … They have been talking for over 79,000 hours. What did they say so far?" the prime minister asked, joking about a CHP member who recently gave a speech lasting over 12 hours on a contentious education reform bill.
Erdoğan also responded to a columnist who recently stated that the party’s 50 percent electoral victory in last year’s election did not allow it to justify its every move.
"Our people gave us that 50 percent to use in the best way," Erdoğan said. "We do not see it in ourselves to let the majority rule over the minority, but we also will not let the minority rule over the majority, as was the case in the past."