Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu targeted French journalist Olivier Bertrand, who was deported by Turkey on Sunday after three days of detention, saying he was sent to Turkey to stir up unrest on the Syrian border.
“A French journalist came and visited Syrian refugee camps without official permission. He conducts interviews with those who are close to them. He does interviews that include insults to our president, country and people. He did all that without any official permission,” said Soylu during a meeting in Istanbul late on Sunday.
“They [Europeans] send their journalists and try to stir up unrest on the border. After that you talk about freedom. And this is free journalism! What they do is to take shelter in a legitimate situation for creating unrest in our country.” added Soylu.
‘No one will dare to even utter name of PKK’
Soylu also targeted Kurdish associations that were recently closed and the outlawed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). “We have surprises for them in January, February and March. … I swear to God, as God is our witness, no one will dare to utter the name of the PKK anymore,” said Soylu.
Accusing associations and Kurdish politicians who were recently jailed of supporting the PKK, Soylu said: “The so-called Lawyers Association was founded. This was to support the PKK. We cannot tolerate those who support people who try to light a fire in this country. For this reason we have closed 370 associations.”
Last week, the Interior Ministry announced that the activities of 370 foundations had been halted based on the emergency rule currently in force in the country, which went into effect in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15.