Turkish regime blasts French magazine over Erdoğan cover

Turkish presidential advisor İbrahim Kalın slammed French news magazine Le Point on Thursday for its cover branding Turkey’s Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a “dictator.”

“A French magazine called President Erdoğan a ‘dictator’,” Kalın tweeted. “We know these attacks. We know what their purpose is. The nation and oppressed people see what is happening. The days that Turkey was taking instructions from you are over. You cannot bring them back by calling Erdoğan a ‘dictator’,” he said.

Prominent newsweekly Le Point had put Erdoğan’s photograph on its cover this week with the title “The Dictator.”

Turkey is ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Wednesday. If Turkey falls two more places, it will make it to the list of countries on the blacklist, which have the poorest record in press freedom.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 253 journalists and media workers were in jail as of May 11, 2018, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 192 were under arrest pending trial while only 61 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 142 journalists who are living in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down some 200 media outlets, including Kurdish news agencies and newspapers, after the coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

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