US expresses ‘deep concern’ over detention of Cumhuriyet columnists

State Department Spokesman John Kirby. / AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN

As the Turkish government tightens its grip on the remaining few independent media outlets in the country, State Department Spokesperson John Kirby expressed concern on Monday over the detention of Cumhuriyet daily columnists.

At a regular press briefing in Washington, D.C., Kirby said the United States is “deeply concerned by what appears to be an increase in official pressure on opposition media outlets in Turkey including through the detention earlier today of Murat Sabuncu, the editor-in-chief of … one of Turkey’s most respected newspapers, Cumhuriyet.¨

While stating support for Turkey’s investigation into a failed coup attempt on July 15, the spokesperson underlined the significance of the rule of law and fundamental freedoms.

“Suppressing speech and opinion and the press does not support the fight against terrorism,¨ he said, adding that it “only encroaches on the fundamental freedoms that help ensure democracies remain strong.”

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  1. I am amazed at how the US, EU and EP have deep concerns over a tyrant who is a loose cannon, but they do nothing to change Turkey’s situation and help the victims. While I also understand the Turkey is a NATO member, NATO cannot continue to scold Erdogan and the AKP. Does genocide have to occur, before they take eminent steps are taken to protect the public. In the scheme of things, Isis nor Incirlik are as important as the recriminations that are going on against the people. Erdogan no longer wants to partake in NATO; he does not care if Turkey loses it membership. He stopped caring long ago. Erdogan has been looking for a way out of the membership and is committing acts of tyranny to test limits. As we all know, he has exaggerated and taken advantage of the power the public has bestowed upon him. No one asked him to be God and he definitely needs to remember this. Its going to backfire. One day, the people will stop being afraid and revolt. Its just a matter of time.