Congressman Lowenthal Statement on Government Seizure of TV/Radio Stations In Istanbul

October 28, 2015
Press Release
Congressman Alan Lowenthal today issued the following statement regarding the seizure by Turkish government forces in Istanbul of the Kanaltürk and Bugün TV channels and the Kanaltürk radio station:

"As I stated with my colleagues in our recent letter to President Obama signed by 63 Members of Congress, the dedication of the Turkish government to the democratic process is under intense international scrutiny. Events like the TV station seizure do not bolster international confidence that the upcoming elections will be held in an environment that respects the free speech of all the Turkish people.

"Freedom of the press and freedom of speech are cornerstones of democracy. Whether through the press or through the ballot box—without the voice of the people being heard loudly—there can be no democratic process. I encourage the Turkish government to respect the fundamental rights of its citizens and ensure that upcoming elections are free, open, and fair."