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.
"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."