London, March 29 (IANS) A British diplomat in Turkey has come under fire for tweeting a selfie that he took with under-trial journalists accused of espionage, a media report said.
The two journalists — Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet newspaper, and his coworker Erdem Gul — are accused of “trying to topple the government” after posting a video they said shows members of the Turkish intelligence agency shipping arms into Syria in 2014, voanews.com reported.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan expressed displeasure over the photo that shows British Consul General Leigh Turner with one of the journalists.
“The consul general of a certain country went to the trial of a journalist charged with espionage, to support him. Moreover he gets a picture taken cheek to cheek (with the journalist) and had it published,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.
“And he does not stop at that, on social media he says things like ‘Turkey needs to decide what kind of country it will be’, words that exceed their intended meaning,” he added.
The president noted that it was the “generosity and hospitality” of the Turkish government that Turner was still in the country.
“If it were another country they would not let a diplomat, who exhibits this kind of behaviour, to stay there a day more,” Erdogan said.