State Department Denounces Erdogan for Targeting Journalists, Armenians and Gays

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf speaks to journalists during a press conference
U.S. State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf speaks to journalists during a press conference

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf speaks to journalists during a press conference

WASHINGTON—US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf denounced President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attacks against Western media outlets, but brushed aside criticism that Turkey was an unreliable ally despite the growing rift between the two countries.

Asked about President Erdogan’s accusing the New York Times, CNN and BBC of trying to weaken and divide Turkey, and later expanding on it with a claim that journalists, Armenians and homosexuals were “allies in sedition,” Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications at the US State Department Marie Harf told a daily briefing that the US supports freedom of expression, and remains concerned about government interference in freedom of expression in Turkey, “We’ve said that for a long time and we remain concerned.”

“An independent and unfettered media is an essential element of any democratic and open society,” said Harf. “As Turkey’s friend and as their NATO ally, we urge the Turkish authorities to ensure their actions uphold democratic values, including due process, judicial independence, and freedom of expression, including access to media and information.”

When asked if she would “denounce or decry or criticize” Erdogan for his criticism of homosexuals, Armenians and journalists, she responded “Absolutely.”

Turkey’s President Erdogan continued his salvoes against a number of minorities ahead of the June 7 general elections, when he accused Armenians, journalists, and homosexuals on Wednesday of supporting the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
“Their biggest ally is Dogan Media. The Armenian lobby, homosexuals and those who believe in ‘Alevism without Ali’ – all these representatives of sedition are [the HDP’s] benefactors,” Erdogan said during an address to citizens in the eastern province of Bingöl on June 3.

On June 3, the Turkish president also repeated his ever-toughening rhetoric against international media. “They also received the support of some foreign media outlets, which see Turkey as their colony,” he said.

In recent days for different reasons, Erdogan has slammed several media institutions including the daily Hurriyet, which is owned by the Dogan Media Group, daily Cumhuriyet, the New York Times, CNN International and the BBC.

Erdogan has made slights against Armenians on several occasions in the past, including last year, when he raged against opposition politicians for calling him an Armenian. “They called me a Georgian. Pardon me for saying this, but they said even uglier things: They called me an Armenian!” Erdogan said in an interview on national TV in August 2014.


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  1. areg minasyan said:

    Erdogan would wish that he was Armenian. And Americans and Russians and the entire world would be better off without the Genocidal Turkey.

  2. Sylva~MD~Poetry said:

    What Seljuk-Turks wants from us…?
    They took from Us every thing Turks everything …
    Now all the world knows that…
    What they did to Dedicated artful Armenians
    Even the Beduins of the Arabian deserts …
    Those… who found starved Armenian orphans
    Searching food in the sands…
    They Genocided 1.5 million Innocent Lives
    Confiscated every thing from us –– From pen till ink,
    Raped our beautiful, dedicated girls …
    Calling them Turkish mothers…
    Changing their bad DNA…s
    To be beautiful… cleverer…

    Still they continue to
    Lie… lie… lie
    Deny… deny… deny…

    Thus, stop bringing this man’s face on our Sacred Sites…

    June 7, 2015

  3. Raffi said:

    Turkey Was, Is, and Will Continue to be an unreliable ally, in Iraq war the US un necessarily lost thousands of soldiers killed and Billions of Dolars lost. TURKEY IS NOT TRUSTWORTHY. they are very smart and know how to deal with the west, for them money talks bull shit walks, they talk the same language as the west.

  4. Edward Demian said:

    Turkey needs to be dismembered into its ethnic and linguistic components. It is too bellicose, too ambitious, too Islamic and too genocidal. It will grow into a hard to contain Pan-Turanic monster that will threaten all.