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CHP’s Erdoğdu: Erdoğan ordered media not to cover March of Justice

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aykut Erdoğdu on Sunday said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had gathered media bosses and ordered them not to cover CHP Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu’s “March of Justice,” which he kicked off from Turkey’s capital of Ankara to İstanbul in protest of the arrest of CHP deputy Enis Berberoğlu on Wednesday.

“Erdoğan called together the heads of all newspapers, especially Aydın Doğan, and ordered them not to cover the March of Justice. He considers the march to be supportive of terrorism because he’s afraid. The call for justice coming out of the roads of Anatolia is shaking the palace,” Erdoğdu wrote in a social media message.

Speaking during a meeting of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) on Saturday, Erdoğan said: “Holding ‘Justice’ placards in one’s hands doesn’t bring justice. Inviting people into the streets is for the interest of no one. If he [Kılıçdaroğlu] thinks they will find justice in this, he is wrong. Parliament is the place to seek justice. Don’t be surprised if the judiciary invites you [to testify] tomorrow.”

Berberoğlu was arrested last week immediately after he was handed down a prison sentence of 25 years for leaking information for a report on National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks transporting weapons to jihadists in Syria.

Erdoğan asked media representatives to act in accordance with the interests of the country and the people during a fast-breaking [iftar] dinner at Huber Mansion in İstanbul on Saturday night, attended by media bossed including Aydın Doğan and a number of editors in chief and columnists.

“What we call freedom is not something unlimited. There is a limit to that,” said

Erdoğan.“According to information from our [justice] ministry, only two of 177 people who are in prison and declared their profession as journalism have yellow press cards. One of those 177 is in prison for murder, while the rest are in because of their ties to terrorist organizations,” added Erdoğan.

In recent years the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has been canceling the press cards of critical journalists. The Prime Ministry’s Media Press and Information General Directorate (BYEGM) cancelled 115 permanent press cards and 660 press cards last year.

Turkey is ranked 155th among 180 countries in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on April 26.

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