The Guardian: Erdoğan ends UK state visit by calling jailed journalists 'terrorists'16 May 2018 | 03:22 | FOCUS News Agency
At a press conference in Downing Street alongside May, Erdoğan made no reference to May’s remarks about human rights, but instead urged her to do more to extradite Turkish exiles from the Gulenist or Kurdish movements, saying that if she did not act act against terrorists, it would come back to bite her.
May, eager to strike a post-Brexit free trade deal with Turkey, said the UK was always prepared to extradite Kurdish terrorists if the evidence was provided. Erdoğan believes that the exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, currently in the US, was behind the 2016 failed military coup.
May said that while it was right that those who sought to overthrow a democratically elected government were brought to justice, “it is also important that in the defence of democracy… Turkey does not lose sight of the values it is seeking to defend”.
May added: “That is why today I have underlined to President Erdoğan that we want to see democratic values and international human rights obligations upheld.”
But Erdoğan ignored her strictures, saying: “You have to make a distinction between terrorists and journalists. We are talking about ... those who have been caught red-handed bearing weapons, those who have been killing people. “Are we supposed to call them journalists just because they bear the credentials and identity cards? Currently, the Turkish judiciary is prosecuting and sentencing individuals who have been associated with terrorism and involved in terrorist actions.”
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