June 20, 2012

Fredy Gsteiger

Fredy Gsteiger
Diplomatic Correspondent, Swiss Broadcasting Corp., Switzerland;
IPI Board Member

Modern-day Turkey is a success story. There’s no doubt about that. A country at the crossroads between Europe, the Middle East and Africa. a democratic country, a free society. A model even for – hopefully – emerging democracies in Tunisia, Egypt… But now all of a sudden, these worries caused by the Turkish government. These measures and misbehaviour in regard to the freedom of the press and the journalists: why does a strong government think it needs to do that? And why isn’t it wise enough to realise how much harm it does to the perception of Turkey, not only in Europe, but also in its eastern and southern neighbourhoods? Young democratic Egyptians, Syrians and Iranians would like to admire Turkey for its achievements. But can they any longer? A country, a government that fiddles with press freedom can never truly and convincingly be a model, cannot be a respected negotiator, cannot be a widely accepted go-between. And, of course, cannot be a member of the EU.

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