Nytt

Ifølge The International Committee to Protect Journalists var Tyrkia det landet i verden med flest fengslede journalister i både 2012 og 2013.

Riktignok plasseres de «kun» på en 10. plass på samme rangering for 2014, men det har ikke akkurat skortet på omfattende inngrep mot pressefriheten i landet heller i år. Bare for to uker siden ble 23 arrestert da opposisjonelle medier ble raidet av politiet.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, eller «Komiske Erdogan» som det kanskje begynner å bli mer adekvat å tiltale ham som, er fremdeles full av lovord om landets pressefrihet. Ifølge Times of Israel går han faktisk så langt som å hevde at den er verdens beste.

— Turkey has the freest press in the world, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday, brushing off accusations that media freedoms were being eroded under his rule.

“Nowhere in the world is the press freer than it is in Turkey. I’m very sure of myself when I say this,” he said in a televised speech to a conference in Ankara.

“The press is so free in Turkey that one can make insults, slanders, defamation, racism and commit hate crimes that are not tolerated even in democratic countries.”

“I’ve personally experienced this, so has my family,” he added.

Det nylige raidet mot opposisjonell presse i Tyrkia er blitt fordømt av Den europeiske union. Erdogan har, i henhold til The Jerusalem Post, valgt å forholde seg til denne kritikken ved å peke på «voksende rasisme og islamofobi» på det europeiske kontinentet.

«We are not Europe’s scapegoat,» Erdogan told a symposium of civil servants. «We are definitely not a country that Europe can point its finger at and scold. Instead of criticizing us, Europe should find a solution to increasing racism and Islamophobia.»

He made reference to an incident in the German city of Dormagen, where ultra nationalists drew Nazi signs on the walls of a mosque construction, according to reports in Turkish local media earlier this week.

Videre står Erdogan fast på sine planer om å endre konstitusjonen i retning av utvidede fullmakter for presidentembetet. Tyrkia er således i ferd med å bli enda mer autoritært.

Erdogan also repeated his determination to forge a new constitution, saying the result of next year’s general election could help speed up the process.

«Together with our nation and civil society institutions, the results of June 7 elections will pave the way for the swift preparation of a new constitution,» he said.

Erdogan, who became Turkey’s first popularly elected head of state in August after 12 years as prime minister, has made no secret of his ambition to change the constitution and bolster the powers of the presidency, a move opponents fear will herald increasingly authoritarian rule.

The outcome of June’s parliamentary election will therefore be key. If the ruling AK Party can control a two thirds majority, it could introduce reforms without opposition support, including the creation of the strong executive presidency Erdogan seeks.