Addressing pace, Erdogan denies govt pressure on media, judiciary
Speaking at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly rebuffed European criticisms of Turkish freedom of the press. In his address to the European parliamentarians, Erdogan said some journalists are in jail not due to their writings but because of their connection to networks plotting a coup and terrorist groups, adding that Europe should first look at itself before judging Turkey in the area of freedom of expression and belief. The prime minister continued his remarks with words critical of Europeans: "I have to say, we are always mentioning the independence of the judiciary when it serves our purposes. But when it comes to Turkey, you don't want an independent judiciary. Instead, you want a judiciary dependent on the government. Excuse me, the judiciary is not dependent on the government in Turkey. There is an independent judiciary and it is doing its job."