US rejects accusations over Freedom House report
WASHINGTONThe United States has rejected accusations that the latest Freedom House report, which demoted Turkey to the league of “Not Free” countries, is an "operation aimed at changing perception toward Turkey."
U.S. Department of State spokeswoman Marie Harf said the Obama administration took the report very seriously and agreed with some of the recommendations in it. Harf said they had conveyed their concerns about media freedoms to the Turkish authorities and would continue to urge the government to open social media sites and to "do better across the board."
Turkey was relegated from the league of “Partly Free” countries to the league of “Not Free” countries, in the latest report from U.S.-based think tank Freedom House.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has claimed that the report is an "operation to change perception toward Turkey."
Asked whether there was any "operation" in the U.S. against Turkey, Harf gave a brusque response. “Absolutely not at all. Not at all, period. And what I think would change the way people look at Turkey is if they unblocked YouTube, if they didn’t block Twitter. I think that’s what drives people other places to say, ‘Hey, maybe freedom of expression isn’t that great in Turkey right now," she said.