Parties in free press row over sacked columnist
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu condemns the sacking of a senior journalist over an article critical of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.A simmering debate on Turkish press freedom has been revived after a columnist from a pro-government newspaper was fired for criticizing the prime minister for his stance on the Uludere massacre as the premier renewed his accusations against the media over the same incident.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), condemned the sacking of Ali Akel, a senior journalist from Yeni Şafak over an article critical of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“[Firing a journalist] is not correct. Isn’t the prime minister going to be criticized in this country? He can be criticized, as we can be criticized. Sacking a journalist for criticizing him: This shows there is no democracy in this country,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters in Adana. Kılıçdaroğlu denounced also the media for broadcasting all of Erdoğan’s speeches live. “But the media knows very well what will happen to them if they stop broadcasting him,” he added.
In a fresh attack on the media in his monthly address to the nation, Erdoğan said, “Some media have failed to take the side of the nation even on the vital issue of terror.”
In comments on the Uludere controversy, he slammed “manipulators, terror bosses and politicians feeding on the blood of the youth” and pledged to clear up the errant strike. “We will not bow down to those traitors and their psychological operations.” Some 34 villagers were killed in a botched air raid in the southeastern province of Şırnak’s Uludere district on Dec. 28, 2011.