U.S. slams Erdogan’s attacks against media, Armenians
US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf denounced President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attacks against Western media outlets, but brushed aside criticism that Turkey was an unreliable ally despite the growing rift between the two countries.
Asked about President Erdogan’s accusing the New York Times, CNN and BBC of trying to weaken and divide Turkey, and later expanding on it with a claim that journalists, Armenians and homosexuals were “allies in sedition,” Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications at the US State Department Marie Harf told a daily briefing that the US supports freedom of expression, and remains concerned about government interference in freedom of expression in Turkey, “We’ve said that for a long time and we remain concerned.”
“An independent and unfettered media is an essential element of any democratic and open society,” said Harf. “As Turkey’s friend and as their NATO ally, we urge the Turkish authorities to ensure their actions uphold democratic values, including due process, judicial independence, and freedom of expression, including access to media and information.”
When asked if she would “denounce or decry or criticize” Erdogan for his criticism of homosexuals, Armenians and journalists, she responded “Absolutely.”
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