tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV September 16, 2016 7:00am-7:31am PDT
>> hello and a very warm welcome coming to"quadriga," you from the heart of the german capital, berlin. we are looking at the latest developments in turkey where a major crackdown on the med h been taking place in the afteath of the failed july 15 two. some journalists have been forced intexile. meanwhile, international media been forced out.
today, we have decided to focus on the future of the freedom of the press in turkey. to do just that, i'm joined in the studio by three expert analysts and commentators beginning with michelle friedman, who was with that dw team that was a victim of harassment in ankara. he says what happened to the team is clearly an indication that press freedom in turkeys more theory than reality. also with us is alan pozen or, a berlin.columnist in every newsper article has to be submitted for authorization, so we should be very cautious other about criticizing countries. and we are joined by a freelance journalist and academic who says the press was scarcely free in july before the july 15 coup
attempt. now it is under strict control. you work in ankara at the heart of the incident as the george abela team had its material confiscated after an interview with the turkish minister. i would like to ask you when the material was confiscated or when you realized what was happening, to what extent did you feel like you were in an authoritarian state? perhaps what some people might call a dictatorial state, a state where the freedom of the press no longer exists? >> mike spontaneous reaction what has been that i'm calling the police. the police are there to protect not moreinisters are than i am, not less. we are on the same level. i would call the police because it was a robbery. somebody took our material.
i felt immediately that this is not an option. you know that you are not anymore in a democracy, not anymore in a country where checks and balances for an individual are practical. from this moment on, i inerstood what happened turkey towards journalists, intellectuals, artists before the coup and even more after. >> i could see you nodding when he was talking about the fact that he did not feel as though he had the option to simply phone the police. >> well, i was wondering what would be the case, for an ends, if that happened in a democratic country. would george abela have the right -- >> i would have called the police. even a minister or press officer is not allowed to do it. i am protected.
i imagine that i am protected, but i imagine more here than what i've held in ankara. it isess officer who did not allowed. the only authority which had the right to confiscate whatever would have been the police, and if they are doing a mistake in germany, i would take a lawyer and we would discuss about this reaction and decision. this is unimaginable today. however in the case we had to live through it. >> it's interesting because you a little bit turkey and ankara and berlin. we had a quote from you where you said here in germany every newspaper article has to be subjected to or submitted for authorization -- >> that article, every interview. >> every interview with a minister, yes. good point. you seem to be suggesting that press freedom applies in the same way in germany as it does in ankara and vice versa. >> not necessarily, but mr.
friedman knows very well because he had a series of interviews in our newspaper where we did not adhere to this rule and the people he interviewed knew it, but it never caught on. the reason is politicians want to control their image. i don't know if they would go so .ar as to confiscate i'm not saying it's the same thing. it's deplorable. but what i am saying is politicians try to control their image. it would be unthinkable in america if you did an interview at a newspaper with hillary clinton or with the president that they would say that you have to submit the quote for authorization. it would not happen. for in great written. it's a german thing. as of saying, there are differences in the freedom of the press or the authority politicians have from country to
country. >> can you comment on those differences, those nuances that are so important? important. for me, this is information that is new. i did not know that the german right, butave that in the turkish case, i think that the thing that matters is the questions. you gotsure how far -- ng your interview >> i hope i did a good job. >> you can be more critical still in germany because self-censorship is more effective now in turkey. >> i want to give a response to my dear end, though. a newspaperng story, and you just mentioned it, this, what you were painting enough.wspaper is not
it is an agreement who nobody really knows why and whatever it is. betweenave to make cuts an interview for a newspaper. we're talking two or three hours perhaps with a prime minister, and you are changing the questions and answers. we are doing television, and in germany -- and i'm dointv shows in germany -- nobody ever had the idea to confiscate an interview on tv or on radio. why? because our interviews are generally live on tape, and even not, there was not one case that a politician asked the court to decide that in interview cannot a broadcast, and this is difference in the examples, and inelieve that this is america, this is in germany, and when i'm listening to president
erdogan or to the prime minister before the coup, they told us that turkey is a democracy. quirks the author who won the literature prize, the nobel prize, he came out and said not just the freedom of the press but the freedom of thought no longer exists in turkey. i need to know -- is he right back on >> i think he is right, especially after the july coup attempt. i think people are really afraid to tell out right with a. before the july coup attempt, turkey was not a democracy already. switched sharply
.o an autocracy the president was very strong, his power consolidated, etc., but after the coup attempt, they emergency steps. people are afraid to express their criticism and those who do simply end up in prison. this is no joke. fans, novelist, ,ournalists, actors, writers they are in prison. >> let's take a quick break from the debate and look at some of the figures from the crackdown in turkey which has led to turkey being described by reporters without borders as the world leader in imprisoning journalists, and the figures we are presenting now are supplied by the committee to protect journalists. >> at least 30 news-related websites were censored. morehan one -- 100 media
outlets were closed and more than 100 journalists were detained. last year, reporters without borders ranked turke151st ou on its worldies freedom pre index. is turkey carrying out a systematic campaign against the media? >> that's a good question. which on for far reaching security measure? >> i don't know, but certain things have to be understood -- there was a coup attempt. there were hundreds of people killed. this coup attempt was faced down not by an authoritarian crackdown, ace down by the people of turkey and to this day, even the main opposition parties support the government in clamping down on this coup. you can think is true -- there were hundreds if not thousands of the coup in the judiciary, in the media, in the
military, many of them supporters of a radical islamist preacher. if you consider germany, for in , d, after the 1968 revolt had tens of thousands of people not being allowed, being controlled for they were allowed to take control for the state and so on and we were nowhere near as powerful as the military was with this coup. we never attempted a coup. when you think of the hysterical reaction to the red army faction in the 1970's, i think we should he just a bit careful in the case of turkey where there really was a coup, where there is a powerful military, where a trevor usually was stated. i'm not happy with what is happening. i'm just a do not forget it.
>> we don't forget it. people do not forget this. --course the killing on killing of hundreds of people during the coup attempt and afterwards still going on with these attempts -- i think it was horrible, but on the other hand, peace activists have nothing to ,o with that movement especially supporters of the kurdish peace process. why are they then arrested? do they have anything in common with the movement? whocademic and a journalist is left wing, who is just critical of the erdogan government could be blamed as a terrorist. i'm really curious about what "terrorist" means now in turkey because i think it definition has become so flexible that it to do whatever
he has in mind. >> many members of the press, many members of the media have been arrested and detained. you said many are your friends. give us an idea of what has happened to these people and what is going to happen to these people. >> they have then arrested and put in jail. that's what happened. and the thing is because people no longer believe -- and i law isly also do -- that not free in turkey anymore. the courts are not free. i think somehow there is little hope -- >> what is happening to these people in prison? are they being tortured? are they being abused? but i'm are reports, not sure. nobody can go in there. wasinstance, a novelist who on the editorial team bringing down the kurdish newspaper said
she was left without water for days and forced to sleep on a dirty bed, and they did not give her medication, but afterwards, the government authorities suddenly said they did not do that. you cannot know who is telling the truth at the moment. >> i think there is no legitimation for the coup. there is no doubt about that. >> it was an act of self-defense. this was turkey's 9/11. many people in turkey argue. >> we have to remember that much of what is going on today and was before the coup the same quality or non-quality of treating people in your country. when you remember all the demonstrations last year, the reaction of the government, the ,eaction of president erdogan to say this is not how you treat your people in .he democratic process
the third response -- i agree, and you said it. overreactions in such cases, but because of -- before the coup, the behavior was more .r less the same i'm not so sure if the argument is really the same one. in the country something happens like in france, terrorism, there is a time of emergency, but in rants, there is not one newspaper that was closed. there are no journalists in prison, and even if they are, they will have their civil rights. that's why i think we have to look at turkey, and we have a lot of reasons, arguments to talk about not being superior in our arguments, but at the end of the day, hundreds of thousands of people are in prison.
we don't know how long and since when, and is one thing peter you just mentioned. a loof judges are nown prison. that means no court cases. no judges. >> i would like to pick up on that point because we've been hearing is not just the media and press that have been affected by the crackdown. let's have a look at another case here. >> last week in the southeastern broke up a protest by teachers. some of the 11,000 throughout the region who were suspended from their jobs last thursday. authorities said the teachers had either supported the kurdish pkk rebel group or the movement behind the july coup attempt. >> there's no difference between the movement, the pkk, and the islamic state group. teachers say they are not criminals.
government does not want secular scientific and democratic education. >> this man was suspended for allegedly supporting the good land movement. it is erdogan trying to limit freedom of speech and movement in turkey? >> what exactly does the turkish government had to hear from academics and teachers? >> because they are educators of the next generation. most of the people forget that half of the people in turkey have not voted for erdogan. these teachers, these academics are responsible for the next generation, and he was very clear that he does not want critical minds. he only wants a religious generation. it's not only media freedom, not
only academic. he wants power and with that power wants to change the direction of a country in a religious way. you cannot stand different voices, different critics, so he is acting very cleverly. >> these people who are teachers of the next generation, are they of the movement? this is what is insinuated or suggested by the authorities yet >> more than 10,000 teachers were arrested because they were of thed to be supporters pkk, the kurdish movement, but the problem is we do not know the truth yet. the courts are not working effectively, and there is no one who can tell us what is right and what is wrong.
coup has been how many muncie aqua and still, it is so foggy and everyone says something, and we cannot know who is a supporter pkk.len, supporter this state of emergency contributes to the confusion detain peoplen for nine days without allowing him or her to see his or her lawyer. >> i think you made an interesting point. listening that gulen is a representative of the radical lists. my understanding is radical is a 's policy. erdogan if you look at how many are suddenly backed by religious arguments, you see that certain symbols are getting political
and religious importance. we have to take care that this is also one of the points we have to take care. i don't say that this is a basic motive of him to do what he is doing, but if you are looking at what is going on on the streets and around the country, you know that you have to take care that religion is not misused for political issues. really wanted an islamic dictatorship in turkey, he would not have broken with the gulen movement. we heard him saying that gulen is just as bad as i.s. considering he worked with gulen until four or five years ago, where does that put him?
if there is a plan to transform them, surely he would not have broken with gulen, who helped generals, the the state. i think he is now much more in the pocket of the generals than he was before. this is part of the strange consideration where we do not know who is controlling who. you're not going to suggest it is correct to dismiss thousands of teachers, but i will say that your first answer was right -- we really do not know what is happening, and i don't see a plan. i see terrible confusion. directionre religious , i said. that is totally different. islamic country has very confusing connotations because there exists the terrorist
think hetate, and i does not tell us he does not want similar things. i think they are very alike. know, today, for instance, why did they fall apart -- why? .> that is a big open question >> yes, and it is very simple, and we don't know. to bea democratic country humanized, respected, etc., both groups are not very respectful. >> only a few weeks ago, no coup in turkey, and the authorities did not handle situations like demonstrations, opposition, on the way how a democratic state
would have to do, and we do not have to forget that because it is a point which did not stop. it continued. it had perhaps a pretext to make more about that, but erdogan's governments were not on the we are asking to respect our positions, to respect people who are not accepting that you are the president. chance toive a respond. we are running out of time. >> you are right, of course. -- armany had a war on its war on its borders like they have with syria, millions of refugees as we have in turkey, if they had a civil war, it was the pkk who started the war, not erdogan, and if we had deep state generals conspiring, that i don't know if we would be so -- sitting here in berlin are
saying we can live with this because there are thousands in prison who are in trouble. >> i would like to bring things slowly to a close and ask the following question -- we have seen what has happened in turkey in the last couple of months. there has been a coup initially and then a crackdown. how should the west respond to this? how should germany respond? should germany or we respond by waving our fingers, taking the moral high ground and saying we do not accept these sanctions and so on, or should we keep channels of communication open? >> key channels of communication open, no sanctions, engage with turkey and tries to drag them back into europe. >> i remember this refugee deal erdogan and how it
contributed to his power, so i it to contribute to a more democratic turkey. >> we are communicating with countries like russia and china. why not with turkey? communication is every time better than not at all. one of the ways we can communicate -- >> the impression is often that mr. erdogan is not listening to the west any longer. >> it can be, it could be, it will be, but that's not the reason we are not saying what we believe. >> we're going to leave now and i'm going to say thank you to my joining me today. plenty of food for thought on the debate about press freedom in turkey after the coup. if you want to share the discussion with us, do join us on social media on the internet. until next week, bye-bye. cheers.
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