US State Department condemns harassment of Turkish journalist
The United States condemns threats, harassment and violence against journalists and media workers, a US State Department spokesman said on Wednesday after a reporter from Voice of America in Turkey’s capital Ankara was harassed by the ultranationalist MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) members after a question she asked to the party leader.
"Freedom of speech - including journalists' freedom of speech - strengthens democracy and needs to be protected, even when it includes speech that some find controversial or offensive. The US condemns threats, harassment and violence against journalists and media workers," spokesman Ned Price said in an emailed answer to VOA Turkish’s questions.
His statement also said that US remains concerned about widespread restrictions on freedom of expression in Turkey.
"The people of Turkey deserve to enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms without fear of punishment. The right to exercise freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association is enshrined in Turkey's own constitution, international legal obligations and commitments to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE,)" he said.
Turkish journalist Yildiz Yazicioglu was scolded on Tuesday by the leader of the ultranationalist MHP (Nationalist Movement Party,) then targeted by the party's top official in charge of media, who said the journalist "acts like an agent provocateur."