Turkey: Erdogan responds to EU criticism on media freedom

"Mind your own business", the president says

15 December, 16:34

    Turkish police operation against Fethullah Gulen Movement in Turkey Turkish police operation against Fethullah Gulen Movement in Turkey

    (ANSAmed) - ANKARA, DECEMBER 15 - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected on Monday criticism from the European Union over a police operation targeting journalists and others on Sunday, saying that his country will deal with its own problems and telling the EU to "mind its own business." "They cry press freedom, but (the raids) have nothing to do with it...

    We have no concern about what the EU might say, whether the EU accepts us as members or not, we have no such concern. Please keep your wisdom to yourself," Erdogan said in a speech as daily Today's Zaman online reports. More than 20 people, including the editor-in-chief of Zaman daily and the top executive of Samanyolu television, were detained on Sunday in a police operation that the main opposition leader said amounted to a "coup." In a joint statement released on Sunday, Federica Mogherini, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, and Johannes Hahn, commissioner for European neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations, said the crackdown on Zaman daily and other media outlets is an "unacceptable attack" against freedom of media. "This operation denies the European values and standards Turkey aspires to be part of and which are the core of reinforced relations," they said. The US State Department was also critical of the detentions, calling on Turkish authorities to protect media freedom. "The EU should not find the right in itself to intervene in the acts taken by the police and judiciary against the entities that jeopardize our national security. It should mind its own business," Erdogan said, defending the crackdown as part of a necessary response to "dirty operations" by political enemies. (ANSAmed).

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