Erdoğan on censoring photo: It would not permitted in the West, the cradle of democracy

The photo of the leftist terrorists holding a gun to prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan devoted his latest verbal attack to opposition lawmakers and media organizations, accusing them of treason for being the “partners of the terrorists” who were involved in the killing of Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz last week.

“I openly say: Those who can’t call a terrorist a terrorist is the partner of the terrorist. Those who can’t call this incident an act of terror are open supporters of terror. Some CHP [Republican People’s Party] and HDP [Peoples’ Democratic Party] lawmakers, who don’t call a terrorist a terrorist, are accusing security personnel of committing state terror,” Erdoğan told a group of neighborhood and village heads on April 8…

…Criticizing and strongly condemning some media outlets without naming them for printing a picture of the prosecutor as militants held a gun to his head; Erdoğan said: “You can’t see such a thing in Western countries that are accepted as the cradle of democracy, rights and freedoms. In these countries, the media outlets that turn into propaganda tools of terrorism and the terrorists are shut down.”

The president said Turkey should also bring similar “Western standards” to Turkey as well…

What is he talking about? It seems to me we see photos like this all the time. He was so angry he threatened to ban Google if it returned the photo as a search result. Google complied.

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube were blocked countrywide until they removed all occurrences of this image.

One on the papers involved was Hürriyet, from which this article was taken.

It’s true that censorship is creeping danger in the West too. Newspapers often self-censor. And Obama certainly went wild over that YouTube trailer The Innocence of Muslims. However, he was not able to remove it. Yet, in any other Western country, without strong free speech guarantees, the government might very well have removed it.

Maybe Erdoğan is not far off the mark after all.