Turkish PM plays down EU chief's arrest criticisms
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Tuesday played down a critical remark by the head of the European Parliament over the detention of journalists on terror charges, Anadolu reported.
On Monday, Martin Schulz, the European Parliament’s president, reacted to that day’s arrest of 11 journalists from the Cumhuriyet daily in Istanbul and Ankara.
Referring to the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, he tweeted: “The detention of Murat Sabuncu and other #Cumhuriyet journalists is yet another red-line crossed against freedom of expression in #Turkey.”
However, Yildirim rejected the criticism. “Brother, we will not look at your red line,” he told a Justice and Development (AK) Party parliamentary group meeting in Ankara. “For us, the nation draws the red line. What impact do your red lines have?”
The suspects have been charged with membership of terrorist organizations, namely the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and the PKK, and with committing crimes on their behalf.