Erdogan effect: journalist removed from Erdogan's news conference after calling for free press

by The Region   Reuters  


A man was escorted out of a news conference with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday in Berlin after protesting during the question and answer session.

The man was wearing a t-shirt demanding freedom for journalists in Turkey and protesting loudly, reporters on the scene said. Erdogan and Merkel observed the protest without commenting before continuing the news conference.

Erdogan started his state visit with military honours at the Bellevue Palace where he held talks with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. He is eager to secure German investments to shore up an economy feeling the burden of heavy foreign debt load that has increased as the lira slid by 40 percent this year.

Protesters holding Turkish flags and posters of Erdogan's political opponents lined some streets taken by the president's convoy on Friday where many main avenues in Berlin were closed for the visit.

Turkey has remained the worst jailer of journalists in the world for the second consecutive year, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) report.

Releasing its annual press freedom report, CPJ said: “Despite releasing some journalists in 2017, Turkey remains the world’s worst jailer for the second consecutive year, with 73 journalists behind bars, compared with 81 last year. Dozens more still face trial, and fresh arrests take place regularly.” “In several other cases in Turkey, CPJ was unable to establish a link to journalism.