Erdoğan: ‘All detained journalists in Turkey are terrorists, criminals, and child molesters’

22.03.2017 23:23 BİRGÜN DAİLY

Giving a speech during a meeting with Anatolian Publishers Association, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave remarks about a range of issues, including the crisis with Europe and the status of journalists in Turkey.

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Claiming European leaders ‘put on a mask when it comes to Turkey and democracy’, Erdoğan said: “So, we have made a decision to treat those who come across our way with a mask on as bandits. I call on the Europeans who point fingers at us. Turkey is not a country to be pushed around and to have its integraty damaged, ministers turned down from doors, and, citizens dragged on the ground. These occurances are being monitored from all corners of the world closely. If you continue acting like this, no European and no Westerners will walk around safely in any part of the world. If you open up this dangerous path, you will get the great damage. So, as Turkey, we call on European countries to respect democracy, human rights, and freedoms.”

Mentioning in his speech how media is widely referred to as the fourth branch of government, Erdoğan talked about a dialogue he had with German chancellor Merkel on the detained German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel and said: “We are never going to tolerate those who serve as spies for foreign news sources and terrorist organizations under the name of a journalist. So, this man (Deniz Yücel) comes. He is absolutely a spy, a terrorist… So, when we look at this list of (detained) journalists in Turkey, they are murderers, burglars, child molesters, thieves, and more. And, there is no journalist. Recently, we received a list of 149 names detained in our country. Our friends looked over it and 144 of them are jailed with crime of terror and 4 others are in prison for petty offenses…”