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Parliamentary questions
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25 January 2018
Question for written answer E-000430-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Takis Hadjigeorgiou (GUE/NGL) , Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL) , Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL) , Liadh Ní Riada (GUE/NGL) , Eleonora Forenza (GUE/NGL) , Neoklis Sylikiotis (GUE/NGL) , Dimitrios Papadimoulis (GUE/NGL) , Kostadinka Kuneva (GUE/NGL) , Stelios Kouloglou (GUE/NGL) , Sofia Sakorafa (GUE/NGL) , Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL) , Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL) , Javier Couso Permuy (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Fear campaign launched against the Turkish-Cypriot newspaper Afrika
 Answer in writing 

We wish to bring to the Commission’s attention to a fear campaign launched against the Turkish-Cypriot newspaper Afrika and its editor, Sener Levent, by the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Mr Erdoğan’s attacks, delivered while speaking at a political gathering in Bursa on 20 January 2018, were made on the grounds that the newspaper’s front page had criticised Ankara for the war operations in Afrin, Syria, and had compared them with Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

In addition to his verbal attacks, Mr Erdoğan then proceeded to send a highly inflammatory message by stating that Afrika, which he described as ‘a slick newspaper in northern Cyprus’, had said that the Turkish army, after Cyprus in 1974, was now invading Syria. He called on his brothers in Northern Cyprus to provide the necessary response. Following his comments, radical nationalist groups gathered on Sunday and Monday outside the newspaper’s offices, and threatened its editor and journalists while throwing stones at the premises.

Does the Commission intend to immediately condemn the attacks against the Turkish-Cypriot newspaper Afrika in the strongest possible terms?

Does the Commission agree that President Erdoğan’s statements transcend an attack on democracy, freedom of thought and expression, and constitute an attempt to export his authoritarian approach to Cyprus?

Last updated: 9 February 2018Legal notice