German Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticized Turkey over press freedom, at an award ceremony of the Sanssouci Colloquium held in Germany’s Potsdam. Merkel mentioned the former editor-in-chief of the daily Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar, during her speech, as she stressed the significance of press freedom.
According to Hurriyet Daily News, Saying that press freedom should be defended every time, Merkel noted that press freedom was outside the boundaries of state control and censorship, adding that journalists should be able to report on corruption without being subjected to fear and tracking.
Dündar and Cumhuriyet Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gül faced trial for “leaking state secrets” due to stories they published about Turkish intelligence trucks allegedly bound for Syria with hidden weapons in early 2014.
During the ceremony, Italian writer Roberto Saviano, who is well known for his stance against the mafia, received the M100 Media award, which he dedicated to two brothers under detention in Turkey, Ahmet Altan, a journalist and Prof. Mehmet Altan, an academic and columnist.
Saviano, who defended that Turkey should become a member of the European Union, said that the situation of the Altan brothers would closely concern them if Turkey were an EU member.
In addition, Dündar, who participated in the ceremony, noted that at least 220 journalists were jailed in Turkey. / Read more at Hurriyet Daily.