Can Dündar to quit journalism if Erdoğan proves that he is a spy
Turkish dissident journalist Can Dündar said on Friday he is ready to quit journalism if Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan proves his claims of Dündar being a spy.
Earlier on Friday Dündar announced that he would not attend Turkish President Erdoğan’s news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in Berlin order to avoid being used as an excuse for a diplomatic crisis between two countries.
"Erdoğan said he would not attend to the news conference if I would. It may be weird for my German colleagues that a President is cancelling press conference because of a journalist," Dündar said.
Answering the questions of the journalists about the arrested German citizens in Turkey, Erdoğan said, "The Turkish judiciary has released the ones, who are supposed to be released. I will not give a specific name."
Erdoğan made the following statement about Dündar:
I suppose you know that Can Dündar is an agent, a person who has disclosed the confidential information of the state and has been sentenced to 5 years and ten months in prison. This person came to Germany. This person is a convict according to the Turkish judiciary. He is an agent.
Dündar denied Erdoğan's accusations; he said he is a journalist and continued:
I made news, and I was convicted because of my news. I am ready to quit journalism if Erdoğan proves his claims. Turkish gendarmerie recorded the footages I published; thus there were no state secrets. Erdoğan lied at the press conference in front of the whole world.
Erdoğan's attitude was showing the distance between him and the concept of press freedom, according to Dündar.
Dündar said Erdoğan was to cancel the event by using him as an excuse. He did not want to be a part of it and criticised Erdoğan labelling Turkish intelligence organisation's arms export to Syrian rebels as a "state secret".
Erdoğan was expected to cancel the news conference on early Friday, after hearing the news that federal press bureau accredited Can Dündar, the former editor-in-chief of the leftist Cumhuriyet newspaper.
Dündar currently lives in Germany’s capital and faces an arrest warrant in absentia in Turkey.
Dündar was preparing to ask Erdoğan the reasons behind branding some 175 journalists currently incarcerated in Turkish jails as terrorists rather than journalists.