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'War on Democratic Freedoms': George Galloway on Turkey’s Media Offensive

© REUTERS / Umit BektasTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during his meeting with mukhtars at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, March 16, 2016
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during his meeting with mukhtars at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, March 16, 2016 - Sputnik International
On Tuesday, Sputnik Turkey’s editor-in-chief was deported, after the government blocked access to the news agency’s website. Speaking to Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear, British MP and London mayoral candidate George Galloway discusses the Erdogan administration’s attack on freedom of the press.

"He’s not the first and I’m sure he will not be the last to be criminalized," Galloway tells Loud & Clear, referring to Sputnik Turkey’s Tural Kerimov, who had his passport and credentials revoked by authorities at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul on Tuesday.

"A German television reporter just recently was also in the same fix, and even their [the Turkish government’s] own members of Parliament are being charged with treason for telling the truth to the Parliament and the people and the journalists," Galloway says.

"This Erdogan regime has begun to go from bad to worse and it’s difficult to see where it will all end, but effectively, Turkey is no longer capable of being described as a democracy."

Sputnik's Turkish bureau chief Tural Kerimov is arrives in Moscow - Sputnik International
Sputnik Turkey Bureau Chief Arrives in Moscow (VIDEO)

Sputnik is the latest in a series of Turkish media outlets being closed under the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"They’re telling the truth," Galloway says, referring to the deported and detained journalists, "and it’s a truth that’s a very ugly one, which is that the Erdogan regime is up to its neck in the crimes that are being committed in Syria…Now the secret is out and now, in their ire, they are retaliating against any journalist they can lay their hands on."

"This is a war against all democratic freedoms in Turkey. And all right-thinking people should shun the Erdogan regime and stand-up in solidarity with the people who are being oppressed there. Whether journalists or human rights activists or merely those of the Kurdish ethnicity, this is a real storm being visited on the people of Turkey and those trying to work there."

Even though Turkey is a key part of the NATO alliance, it seems unlikely the United States or any other Western powers will stand up against Erdogan’s increasingly fascist tactics.

Sputnik news agency - Sputnik International
'Security Reasons' Behind Sputnik Turkey Bureau Chief Deportation - Ankara

"…They are hypocrites," Galloway says. "The reality is that Turkey is not a democracy. Therefore it should not even be a part of NATO."

A longstanding member of the West’s military alliance, Turkey is also using the ongoing refugee crisis to push for membership within the EU.

"It’s also been in accelerated talks on joining the European Union. Which ditto goes around the world telling everyone they are a collection of free and democratic countries."

"So both NATO and the European Union are exposed, in all their hypocrisy, in relation to Erdogan’s regime."

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