New York, August 8, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by comments made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan against a journalist on Thursday. At an election rally in southern Turkey, Erdoğan called Amberin Zaman, local correspondent for The Economist, "a shameless militant disguised under the name of a journalist," and urged her to "know your place," the Economist reported. The prime minister was reacting to remarks Zaman made when she interviewed an opposition leader on TV the day before. Pro-government supporters took to social media and condemned Zaman's comments.
"We condemn the campaign against Amberin Zaman and call on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stop bashing his critics," CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. "Anti-press rhetoric coming from the highest echelons of power translates into real risk of retaliation for those singled out. Public officials in a democracy must be tolerant to views and opinions they find unpalatable."