Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Turkey warns foreign ambassadors not to meddle

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday chastised foreign diplomats for attending a trial in Istanbul of two journalists facing possible life terms on controversial espionage charges. “Who are you? What are you doing there?” Erdogan said in a televised speech in Istanbul, accusing foreign envoys of making a “show of strength.” Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of leading opposition daily Cumhuriyet, and Erdem Gul, his Ankara bureau chief, went on trial on Friday on charges of espionage and revealing state secrets over a story accusing Erdogan’s government of seeking to illicitly deliver arms bound for Syria. The case stoked concerns over the state of free press in European Union aspirant and several EU diplomats including the German ambassador attended the start of the trial. “This is not your country, this is Turkey,” Erdogan said, adding that diplomats can operate within the boundaries of missions and adding: “Elsewhere is subject to permission.”



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