Commentary paints biased picture of Turkey

The Opinion piece by Mr Can Dundar (A newspaper in the dock on Press Freedom Day; July 24) paints a biased picture of Turkey.

It must be first stated clearly that neither journalism nor any other profession exempts a person from investigation or legal proceedings when suspected of a crime.

The charges levelled against members of the Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, in particular, include supporting terrorist organisations without being a member of them.

Also, legal problems regarding the foundation that publishes the newspaper exist.

It should also be noted that this is a judicial criminal process that was initiated before the coup attempt by Feto on July 15 last year.

On the other hand, the state of emergency in Turkey which Mr Dundar refers to was put in place only to combat the multiple security challenges arising from the Feto, PKK, Daesh and DHKP-C terror organisations.

Swift and effective measures have to be taken for security considerations as well as to protect the rights of our people and our democracy.

The state of emergency is implemented so as not to affect daily life; it targets security concerns only.

Mr Dundar also refers to Turkey as "a democracy that is fighting for its life in the hands of a despot", but in fact, Turkey is a democracy successfully fighting against multiple sources of terrorism within the confines of relevant laws and under the leadership of its democratically elected President.

Murat Lutem

Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2017, with the headline 'Commentary paints biased picture of Turkey'. Print Edition | Subscribe