Turkey Condemns Alleged Problems with Media Freedom in U.S., Europe

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the members of parliament during a debate at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara, on November 13, 2009. Turkey's parliament is set to discuss details of a plan to give wider rights to Kurds, including allowing them to restore Kurdish names to their towns. …
ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty

The Washington Post reports: Facing a barrage of criticism from myriad governments in the West over its arrest and detention of journalists, Turkey issued a defiant riposte over the weekend, pointing to European and U.S. hypocrisy when it comes to press freedoms.

“Countries that frequently criticize Turkey include Western democracies such as, France, Germany, England, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands and the USA,” read the statement emailed to foreign journalists over the weekend by Turkey’s Directorate General of Press and Information. “So, is freedom of press unlimited in these countries? Do not the journalists, media workers, and reporters face problems in these countries?”

In what amounts to an official document of whataboutism, the Turkish statement listed a roster of supposed transgressions by various governments now scolding Turkey for its dramatic purge of state institutions and civil society in the wake of a failed coup attempt in July. It has arrested dozens of journalists and shuttered media outlets linked to a religious organization that Ankara alleges was behind the plot.

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