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US expresses ‘deep concern’ over detention of Cumhuriyet columnists

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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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