Turkish PM says has no regard for Europe's 'red line' on press freedom

November 1, 2016 6:40 AM EDT

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, August 2, 2016. Hakan Goktepe/Prime Minister's Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has no regard for Europe's "red line" on press freedom, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Tuesday, after the president of the European parliament condemned Monday's detention of senior journalists at an opposition newspaper.

"Brother, we don't care about your red line. It's the people who draw the red line. What importance does your line have," Yildirim told members of his ruling AK Party in a speech in parliament.

"We have no problem with press freedom. This is what we can't agree with our European friends. They always bring up press freedom in our steps in the fight against terrorism."

Police detained the editor and senior staff of leading opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet on Monday over its alleged support for a failed coup in July. European Parliament President Martin Schulz said the detentions marked the crossing of 'yet another red line' against freedom of expression in Turkey.

(Reporting by Ercan Gurses and Humeyra Pamuk; Writing by Nick Tattersall)

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