In response to the latest wave of proceedings against journalists in Turkey, Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today:
“Turkey is an important friend and partner of Germany and the EU, which makes me all the more concerned about the most recent actions against journalists there. Freedom of the press is a key element of a free and democratic society, and it must be actively protected and facilitated by the government.
This is also what I am first and foremost asking of the Turkish Government and of Prime Minister Erdogan: there must be no doubt that the Turkish Government is actively safeguarding freedom of the press and the freedom of journalists to practice their profession.
Public criticism of politicians, including criticism on a personal level, must be possible in a free society. Political leaders, including Prime Minister Erdogan, need to tolerate this.”