'Germany's arrest of Turkish journalists violates press freedom'

'Germany's arrest of Turkish journalists violates press freedom'

Baku TurkicWorld

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemned Germany's detention of Turkish journalists from Turkuvaz Media, saying that it is a violation of press freedom, TurkicWorld reports citing Daily Sabah.

"We find it unacceptable that German security forces arrested Turkish journalists with the words of a fugitive FETÖ (Gülenist Terror Group) member.

"What was done in Germany is a violation of the freedom of the press," Erdoğan said in an interview broadcast live on Turkish broadcaster aHaber.

Following a complaint from FETÖ members Cevheri Güven and Ercan Karakoyun, German security forces raided the homes of Sabah’s German representative Ismail Erel and the European edition’s chief editor Cemil Albay early in the morning and detained the two without even issuing a notice, Sabah said.

The two journalists were released hours later.

Police also searched the Sabah offices in Frankfurt and seized Erel and Albay’s computers and mobile phones.

German authorities did not disclose the raid’s purpose, Sabah said, adding that the Turkish Foreign Ministry and professional unions have officially stepped in for the release of the two journalists.

Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun slammed the incident, saying, “The arrest of Turkish journalists over the stories they break against FETÖ in Germany and the confiscation of their equipment is a blatant violation of press freedom.”

Türkiye considers Germany’s attempt to muzzle journalists unacceptable and is concerned about this pressure on freedom of the press, Altun said via Twitter.

Erdoğan calls on Kılıçdaroğlu to reveal details of deal with HDP
Erdoğan also urged opposition Nation Alliance candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to reveal the details of their agreement with the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), now also known as the Green Left Party (YSP).

"A lawmaker of the PKK-linked YSP announced that Kılıçdaroğlu signed an agreement with them and we understand the content of that agreement from the statements of HDP members," the president told a live broadcast on aHaber on Friday. He noted that these pledges include releasing the HDP's imprisoned co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, who has been in jail since 2016. He faces multiple trials including his main case, in which he could be sentenced to 142 years if convicted on terrorism charges. Releasing the PKK's imprisoned ringleader Abdullah Öcalan is also one of HDP's goals.

"Kılıçdaroğlu says vote for me if you want Selo (Demirtaş) to be released from prison. What type of law is this?" Erdoğan asked, noting that his pledge violates the principle of the rule of law as it interferes with the judiciary's decision.

Meanwhile, the president also criticized Kılıçdaroğlu for scattering promises around to garner votes in the second round of elections.

On Thursday, the main opposition sent text messages to some mobile numbers, claiming that if elected, he would clear outstanding interest for credit card debts and would restructure the debt. The messages were sent in violation of the country's Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) regulations, which prohibit sending propaganda texts and emails to citizens ahead of elections.

"What type of a lie is this?" the president said, and continued: "With whose approval will you pass the budget law when the People's Alliance has a majority with 323 lawmakers?"

The president argued that Kılıçdaroğlu has no clue about the way Parliament works, saying that if he attempted to pass a budget with his "surreal pledges" to clear such credit card debt, he would fail because he does not have a majority, therefore, his pledges are baseless.

"Do not fool the people," he said, adding that Kılıçdaroğlu does not know anything about the budget commission or Parliament.