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Erdogan: Obama Spoke ‘Behind my Back’ on Press Freedom

Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish President had accused U.S. counterpart Obama of going behind his back for condemning Turkey’s press freedom record & linked it to the efforts to “divide” Turkey, said the media reports on Sunday.

On Friday after meeting the Turkish President on sidelines of a nuclear summit in Washington, Obama said that he was concerned by the curbs on press in Turkey & stated he had urged Tayyip Erdogan not to repress the democratic debate in Turkey.

Turkey has drawn the international condemnation for accusing 2 journalists with the treason for publishing the footage that allegedly showed the intelligence agency shipping the truckloads of weapons to the opposition fighters in Syria in 2014.

Erdem Gul  of Cumhuriyet and Can Dundar face life in prison.

“I was saddened to hear that the statement made behind my back. During my talk with Barrack Obama, those issues didn’t come up,” told Erdogan to the reporters, acc. to Hurriyet daily.

The Turkish president had returned to Turkey on Sunday, after a 5-day trip to Washington.

“You can’t consider insults & threats press freedom or criticism,” said Erdogan.

Turkey seized the control of opposition newspapers & TV channels & had cut the satellite feed of a pro-Kurdish channel, condemning them of the terrorism-related activities.

President Erdogan has personally brought over 1,800 criminal suits against the individuals, including children & journalists for insulting him since he become president in 2014.

The Committee to Protect Journalists stated that at least 13 journalists are in jail for their coverage & described a “massive crackdown” including the self-censorship & the harassment of media-business owners.