ISTANBUL – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday he did not respect or accept a constitutional court ruling that the detention of two journalists from a leading opposition newspaper had violated their rights.
Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet, and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul were released pending trial on Friday after the constitutional court ruling. Their arrest last November, after Cumhuriyet published video footage purporting to show the state intelligence agency helping send weapons to Syria, drew international condemnation and concern about media freedom in Turkey. “I will remain silent to the decision the court has given. But I don’t need to accept it, I want to make that clear. I don’t obey or respect the decision,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul before leaving on an official visit to West Africa. “This has nothing to do with press freedom. This is a case of spying,” he said.