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Biden Asked to Press Turkey on Press Freedom

News outlets are urging Vice President Joe Biden to raise the issue of the country's crackdown on journalists when Biden visits the country Aug. 24.

In a letter to the Vice President, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, whose members include Google and Bloomberg, joined with the Newspaper Association of America to point to the "pattern" of closing news outlets and pressuring journalists in the wake of the failed coup attempt July 15, though they also point out that the country was already no friend of a free press.

They asked Biden to "seek assurances" that the government will "respect the independence of the press," including stopping harrassing it; reinstate ownership; and show more restraint per international agreements the country is a party to.

They also want him to press the issuue of journalists jailed or awaiting trial "simply for carrying out their professional duties," and to seek their immediate release.

The Committee to Protect journalists has documented at least three dozen journalists, media workers and owners who have been indicted since the failed coup on suspicion of being affilated with the Hizmet movement that engineered it.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.