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Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Part of UK in Turkey World Press Freedom Day

8th January 2016

Press Freedom in Turkey


I was proud to be one of a number of Consuls General, who visited the offices of Cumhuriyet on 6 January.  We made the following statement, and handed over a signed text:

“As representatives of EU consulates based in Istanbul, we wish for Turkish journalists across the whole political spectrum to be able to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms as provided for in international, European and Turkish law and we wish Turkey the media diversity needed to ensure a lively democratic debate.”


The UK has expressed concern over the detention of journalists, including Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, and is a strong supporter of freedom of expression in Turkey and around the world.  I’ve written about this before, including my blogs of 2 October, 20 October and 2 November last year, Turkey: media freedom, stability and security, Expression should be free and Crimes against journalists. Richard Moore, Ambassador in Ankara, examined the broader themes behind such initiatives elegantly in his 10 December 2015 blog Why the UK cares about human rights.

All those blogs underline that freedom of expression and the rule of law are vital foundations for a strong democracy.

And by way of a reminder of why the UK wants Turkey to be strong and successful, I recommend my blog of this time last year: Turkey 2023: why the UK welcomes Turkish success.  Enjoy.

Follow Leigh Turner on Twitter  @LeighTurnerFCO

3 comments on “Press Freedom in Turkey

  1. Sehr geehrter Herr Turner!
    Seit den halb-acht-Hauptnachrichten auf ORF 2, heute, am Oster-Dienstag, wissen also die meisten Salzburger, was Sie in Istanbul gerade tun. Ich gehe davon aus, dass das bei unserer Gastfamilien-Suche helfen wird. Und ich verstehe jetzt, warum Sie sich eine Journalisten-Familie wünschen.
    Mit herzlichen Grüßen
    Andrea Linecker, ISK
    Prüfungszentrum für das Österreichische Sprachdiplom Deutsch

    1. Danke sehr – ich freue mich naturlich schon auf Salzburg. Bis gleich!

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About Leigh Turner

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of…

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of the UN and other organisations; stories here will reflect that.

About me: I arrived in Vienna in August 2016 for my second posting in this wonderful city, having first served here in the mid-1980s. My previous job was as HM Consul-General and Director-General for Trade and Investment for Turkey, Central Asia and South Caucasus based in Istanbul.

Further back: I grew up in Nigeria, Exeter, Lesotho, Swaziland and Manchester before attending Cambridge University 1976-79. I worked in several government departments before joining the Foreign Office in 1983.

Keen to go to Africa and South America, I’ve had postings in Vienna (twice), Moscow, Bonn, Berlin, Kyiv and Istanbul, plus jobs in London ranging from the EU Budget to the British Overseas Territories.

2002-6 I was lucky enough to spend four years in Berlin running the house, looking after the children (born 1992 and 1994) and doing some writing and journalism.

To return to Vienna as ambassador is a privilege and a pleasure. I hope this blog reflects that.