19 December, 2014 / By Journal Turkish Weekely News
Turkey was criticized by the European Union (EU) over arrestment of media representatives. The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn released a joint statement and said that the raids and arrests are incompatible with the freedom of media which is a core principle of democracy.
They claimed that arrests are “against European values” and EU membership depended on “full respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights”.
Other institutions of the EU also commented on arrests. President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz reminded freedom of the press and media pluralism are fundamental EU values at his opening speech. He also added that he was shocked about raids on opposition media, which were a worrying sign, according to official website of European Parliament.
In spite of the fact that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rejected criticism of the EU with following statements of him:
“They say they will give a democracy lesson to Turkey. Take the trouble to come here, so that Turkey can give you a lesson in democracy.”
Turkey’s Erdoğan also emphasized that the EU should not seek the authority to intervene in the steps taken by Turkish security forces, within the rule of law, against elements that threaten Turkey’s national security.
President Erdoğan accuses the EU over rising racism, Islamophobia and discrimination in Europe.
Human rights organizations raise their concerns that freedom of expression is under attack in a country which is a candidate of EU membership.
Human Rights Watch reported that the raids and arrests would harm media freedom and free speech in Turkey.
Turkey is ranked as 154th of 180 in the press freedom index released by Reporters without Borders.
The Freedom House also called Turkey as “not free” country about press in its report named “Freedom of the Press 2014”.