Reporters Without Borders rebuts President Erdogan’s virulent criticism

first_img Help by sharing this information December 23, 2014 – Updated on May 6, 2019 Reporters Without Borders rebuts President Erdogan’s virulent criticism April 2, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Türkçe / read in TurkishAfter attacking the European Union for criticizing this month’s police raids against supporters of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, President Erdogan delivered a lengthy, frontal attack on Reporters Without Borders (RSF) at a news conference on 20 December, four days after the release of RSF’s annual round-up.Erdogan accused RSF of pillorying Turkey by classifying it as one of the countries where journalists suffered the most threats and physical attacks this year while saying nothing about the abuses committed by the Israeli or Egyptian authorities or by European Union member countries.“We can provide President Erdogan with details of the 117 cases of attacks and threats against journalists registered this year in Turkey,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “Do we need to point out that RSF is an independent and impartial NGO whose findings are based on precise methods and facts it can support? The Turkish president’s comments show yet again that he thinks a conspiracy lies behind every criticism. His accusations against us betray the same hostility to pluralism that he shows towards Turkish journalists who are not fortunate enough to please him.”A point-by-point rebuttal of Erdogan’s claims follows:President Erdogan criticized the round-up for reporting that “seven journalists were killed in Palestine” without stressing Israel’s responsibility, which “created the impression that these journalists were killed by Palestine.” Saying “Israel is to blame for the deaths of 16 journalists,” he suggested that RSF tried to spare the Israel military by saying nothing about its role and minimizing the number of its victims. FALSEIn press releases published at the time, RSF clearly pointed out the Israeli military’s responsibility in the deaths of 15 journalists and media workers during its operations in the Gaza Strip in July and August of 2014. These press releases condemned the targeted and indiscriminate air strikes and bombardments affecting the media and demanded proceedings against those responsible. In accordance with its usual procedure, RSF established that, of these 15 victims, seven journalists and two media workers were killed in connection with their work. As clearly stated, it is these nine journalists and media workers who are included in the RSF “press freedom barometer” and annual round-up.Both the barometer and round-up classify journalists killed under the name of the country where they died. This statistical convention assumes nothing about the responsibility of the authorities that control these territories. At no time did RSF imply that the Palestinian authorities were to blame for these deaths. “Why didn’t you make a fuss when dozens of journalists, including Turkish reporters, were detained in Egypt, when the Anatolia news agency’s journalists were attacked or harassed? Erdogan asked. FALSE Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor Organisation Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit News Follow the news on Turkey RSF_en center_img The annual round-up that is the target of Erdogan’s anger points out that the second largest number of journalists arrested in 2014 was in Egypt. RSF issued 18 press releases this year about abuses against journalists by Egyptian President Sisi’s government. RSF is taking an active part in the worldwide campaign for the release of Al-Jazeera journalists who have been jailed as part of the Sisi regime’s witchhunt against the Muslim Brotherhood. And RSF often highlights the fate of other detained journalists who have received less media attention.It is also wrong to say that RSF ignored the harassment of the Anatolia news agency’s reporters, who are regarded as Turkish officials by the Egyptian government. RSF has also condemned the physical attacks that Anatolia journalists have suffered at the hands of the Turkish police when protests were being brutally dispersed – attacks that we have not heard Erdogan comment on.RSF “defends members of illegal organizations who are guilty of killing a police officer in Turkey and restricting the freedom of persons, but it turns a blind eye to what happens within the EU.” FALSEWhat is he talking about? If the president, who is supposed to be the constitution’s guarantor, is referring to the arrests of journalists and a media owner during the raids on pro-Gülen media on 14 December, he has a strange view of the presumption of innocence. You just have to visit the RSF website to see that we often draw attention to violations of freedom of information within the European Union. In November and December, we put out press releases about Italy, Greece, France, Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Poland, Iceland, Portugal and Spain.Reporters Without Borders defends freedom of information in Turkey regardless of who is in power. It defended it when there was a military government and it has continued to defend it ever since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power. During Erdogan’s initial terms as prime minister, RSF often hailed his government’s reforming agenda. In recent years, RSF has also taken note of the various judicial reform packages and the conditional release of most imprisoned journalists. But despite these gestures, freedom of information has declined considerably in Turkey, which is now ranked 154th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.(photo : bianet.org) TurkeyEurope – Central Asia to go further News April 2, 2021 Find out more News Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lambasted the 2014 Reporters Without Borders round-up of abuses against journalists, accusing the Paris-based NGO of criticizing his country as part of a political “campaign” that it is said to be orchestrating against him. News April 28, 2021 Find out more TurkeyEurope – Central Asia last_img