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    PM Erdogan abandons joint press conference with PM Rasmussen

    Hürriyet Haber
    16.11.2005 - 10:27 | Son Güncelleme:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan abruptly left a joint press conference with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen yesterday, after hearing that two reporters from Denmark-based Kurdish Roj TV were present in the press corps. The two PMs had come together to speak to the press following lunch together, and following Erdogan's departure from the prime ministerial offices where the press conference was taking place, Rasmussen was left alone to respond to reporters' questions.

    When asked by a Hurriyet reporter why the Roj TV representatives had been allowed into the press conference, Rasmussen responded: "We were not the ones who accredited them; it was NATO who gave them their press accreditation. We therefore were not able to prevent press representatives with NATO accreditation from entering this press conference. In Denmark, there is freedom of thought and media. And for as long as these newspapers don't do anything against the law in Denmark, we cannot keep them from entering here."
     
    "I understand Turkey's sensitivity towards terrorism"
     
    Rasmussen also spoke about previous information that Erdogan had given him about Roj TV: "PM Erdogan says that Roj TV is an organ of the PKK. And he has reacted to the presence of Roj TV, which he says creates an invitation to terror, and is linked to the PKK, which is on terror lists in the US. I understand Turkey's sensitivity to terrorism. Denmark is also active in the struggle against terrorism."
     
    Rasmussen then touched on his inability as PM to intrude in media freedom: "I have spoke with Erdogan about freedom of expression. I support dialogues between differenet religions and cultures. Governments should never be able to affect the media. The media is absolutely free. Even as Prime Minister, I do not have the right to intrude on their freedom."
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