President Barack Obama has expressed criticism about press freedom in Turkey. The US president said that he had expressed these sentiments directly to President Erdogan.
“It’s no secret that there are some trends within Turkey that I have been troubled with,” Obama said, when asked whether he considers the Turkish leader an authoritarian.
“I think the approach they have been taking toward the press is one that could lead Turkey down a path that would be very troubling.”
President Obama also said that Turkey’s cooperation with his country had been critical on a number of international issues despite disagreements between the two countries.
“(Erdogan) came into office with a promise of democracy, and Turkey has historically been a country in which deep Islamic faith has lived side by side with modernity and an increasing openness. And that’s the legacy that he should pursue, rather than a strategy that involves repression of information and shutting down democratic debate,” he said.
President Erdogan was in Washington to take part in a major nuclear security summit with other world leaders.