- Title: Paris makes Turkish opposition journalist an "honorary citizen"
- Date: 8th November 2016
- Summary: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (FILE - MAY 6, 2016) (REUTERS) UNIDENTIFIED MAN AND CAN DUNDAR'S WIFE DILEK DUNDAR HOLDING THE ASSAILANT CARRYING A GUN / ASSAILANT DROPPING THE GUN ON THE GROUND ASSAILANT SURRENDERING TO POLICEMEN CUMHURIYET NEWSPAPER EDITOR IN CHIEF CAN DUNDAR, HIS WIFE DILEK DUNDAR AND CUMHURIYET ANKARA EDITOR ERDEM GUL TALKING POLICEMEN LINING UP
- Embargoed: 23rd November 2016 15:40
- Keywords: Can Dundar Turkey Cumhuriyet Kurds Erdogan
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00357L5HDZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: European condemnation of the crackdown in Turkey that followed the attempted coup in July has come too late, with the country now "burning", the former editor of a leading opposition newspaper said on Tuesday (November 8).
Turkish authorities on Saturday ordered that the editor and senior staff of Cumhuriyet newspaper be arrested pending trial and more pro-Kurdish officials were detained. Critics say President Tayyip Erdogan is out to crush legitimate opposition.
In a show of support, the city of Paris made former editor of Cumhuriyet Can Dundar a citizen of honour in a short ceremony at the Paris town hall.
"I feel honoured and it is a privilege to be an honorary citizen of Paris, which is my dream city, and I accept that as an award not to me but to all the journalists, freedom fighters in Turkey suffering but at the same time struggling against oppression. So it's a solidarity message for them saying that the city of Paris is behind them, stands by them, and at the same time it is a message to the Turkish government saying that the city of Paris is against the oppression," Dundar told Reuters.
"It is a bit late, it's so late. We've been pushing European governments for taking a stand and saying something and being vocal about the oppression in Turkey but they kept silence you know, so, now they are trying to say something, that they are concerned, but it's a bit late to be concerned now because the country is burning at the moment," Dundar added.
Speaking to lawmakers, France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Tuesday he was "deeply concerned " by events and that it was time for a "frank and clear" dialogue with Turkey.
"We think that we need to maintain dialogue with Turkey but this dialogue needs to be frank and clear. In particular it is necessary to remember that Turkey is part of the Council of Europe - like us - and that implies the respect of a certain number of fundamental values, the refusal of death penalty for instance. We need Turkey - which is shutting itself away today - to understand that it has no interest to act in that way. If it wants to respect the law, it needs to start by respecting the rule of law," Ayrault said.
In May 2016, an assailant tried to shoot Dundar outside an Istanbul courthouse just before the verdict in his trial on charges of revealing state secrets was due to be announced.
Ankara has drawn stronger criticism in recent days, but European Union diplomats see little prospect of punitive measures.
After an agreement with the EU in March, Turkey has helped to stem the flow of migrants from its shores to the EU via Greece, after a million people arrived last year.
Since the failed coup 170 media organisations have been closed, leaving some 2,500 journalists unemployed, according to the Turkish journalists' association.
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