Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Turkish premier slams the door

Turkish premier slams the door

Freedom of the press has become the focus of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Denmark. First he took up the opportunity to criticise a Danish newspaper's decision to print caricatures of Muslim prophet Mohammed. Then, on Tuesday afternoon, after discussing the matter with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Erdogan made his angry exit out of the Prime Minister's Office after noticing a reporter from a disputed Kurdish television station amongst the journalists waiting for the premiers' joint press meeting. The press meeting came to nothing, and journalists' focus turned instead towards the Kurdish reporter, who was there to report on the meeting for Roj TV, which the Turkish government claims has ties to terrorist organisations. Erdogan came to Denmark late on Monday and had lunch on Tuesday with Rasmussen, discussing daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten's decision to run a series of cartoons of Mohammed. Turkey is amongst the Muslim countries that have demanded that Rasmussen's government take action against Jyllands-Posten, but he has stated that the freedom of press is more important than Muslim sensibilities. Earlier today, Erdogan said at a debate meeting that respect for other cultures and religions had always been at the heart of Turkish culture. Turkey is currently striving to convince European nations that it is democratic enough to be fit to enter the European Union.

Soc Dems reach all goals but one

The Social Democrats surpassed expectations in Tuesday's municipal and regional elections with the party taking mayoral posts in three of the country's four largest cities. The party established itself as the largest party on the local level. The Social Democrats good showing nearly enabled the party to realise chairman Helle Thorning-Schmidt's ambition of securing mayoral posts in the country's four largest cities: Copenhagen, Århus, Aalborg, and Odense.


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