October 10, 2015

’This is not democracy,’ US official says after Keneş’s arrest

"This is not [a] democracy," a senior US official has said after the arrest of Turkish journalist Bülent Keneş in a first official reaction from the US side.

Keneş, editor-in-chief of this newspaper, was hauled from his office late on Friday and arrested live on TV over tweets critical of the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

"I remind my Turkish friends that JOURNALISM IS NOT A CRIME as Bulent Kenes is being arrested for a TWEET. This is not democracy," Douglas Frantz, a former reporter, tweeted on Friday.

Douglas Frantz is currently serving as the US Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and was appointed as a Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD earlier this month.

Frantz's criticism of the arrest of Keneş comes a day after Washington denounced the escalating pressure on the Turkish media. Only on Friday, four journalists were either arrested or given a prison sentence over "insulting" Erdoğan.

Published on Today's Zaman, 9 October 2015, Friday