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Turkish media behaves sensitive on Gezi Park for national security, says EU minister

The Wall Street Journal interviewed Bagis about the Gezi Park events in Turkey

16.06.2013
Turkish media behaves sensitive on Gezi Park for national security, says EU minister

ANKARA
 
Turkish European Affairs Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said, "After 9/11, the U.S. media, too, was very sensitive in reporting the events… Turkish media is sensitive because they don’t want to create tension within the country."

The Wall Street Journal interviewed Bagis about the Gezi Park events in Turkey.

Upon a question about European Parliament's (EP) recent resolution on Turkey, Bagis said, "The members of the European Parliament did not make such calls when there were much more severe examples of police brutality in their own countries… Because they all realized that their government was acting to protect people’s right to life and their property."

Bagis added that he welcomed Enlargement Commissioner's Stefan Fule and Vice President of the Union for foreign affairs Catherine Ashton’s calls on EP and member states to open the negotiation chapters 23 and 24, which would introduce reforms in the areas of human rights and regarding judiciary.

Against the calls of some politicians to freeze relations with Turkey, Bagis said, "That would create a very bad atmosphere here. Turkey would have to make its own assessment, and the reaction would be very harmful not only for Turkey but also to the interests of the members of the European Union."

 -EU's approach towards Turkey-

Criticizing EU's approach towards Turkey, Bagis said, "If the EU wants to help Turkey, it should open the two chapters, the 23th and the 24th, and motivate Turkey to conduct even more reforms… We’re in a situation where the EU is telling Turkey to do its homework, but not telling what the homework is."

 -International media’s coverage-

About international media’s coverage of the protests, Bagis said, "After 9/11, the U.S. media, too, was very sensitive in reporting the events… This is a national sensitivity issue. Turkish media is sensitive because they don’t want to create tension within the country."

He added, "I don’t think that CNN International did as much reporting on Boston marathon explosions, or on the demonstrations which ended with many more casualties throughout Europe, or even on what is happening in Syria today."

 -Criticisms towards PM Erdogan-

Responding to criticisms directed at Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, Bagis said, "The Prime Minister’s style has not changed in the last twelve years. This is the style that gave him 35 percent of the votes in 2002, that increased the votes to 47 percent in 2007, and to 50 percent in 2011."

Bagis added, "This is not the first time Tayyip Erdogan is managing a crisis. And I am sure that the Prime Minister will come out of this crisis even stronger than before."

englishnews@aa.com.tr

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