Interview mit CNN : So hat Erdogan die Putschnacht erlebt

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Tayip Recep Erdogan im Gespräch mit dem amerikanischen Nachrichtensender CNN. Bild: CNN: Screenshot FAZ.NET

Der türkische Präsident Erdogan hat dem amerikanischen Sender CNN das erste Interview nach dem gescheiterten Putschversuch gegeben. FAZ.NET dokumentiert das Gespräch im amerikanischen Wortlaut.

          12 Min.

          Nach dem gescheiterten Putschversuch hat der türkische Präsident Erdogan, der mit größtmöglicher Härte gegen mutmaßliche Putschisten und deren Unterstützer vorgeht, dem amerikanischen Sender CNN das erste Interview gegeben. Hier dokumentieren wir das Gespräch mit der CNN-Moderatorin Becky Anderson im amerikanischen Wortlaut.

          Mr. President, thank you for doing this with us. Before we talk about the outcome and fallout of that attempted coup, take me back to what happened that night. Where were you? What were you doing? And how did you find out?

          Erdogan: Thank you very much. First of all, on the 15th, I was with my family. We were on a vacation of five days. We were in Marmaris. And that night, around 10:00 p.m., I got some news. And they told me about what was going on. And I was informed that in Istanbul and Ankara and some other places, there was some kind of movement that was going on. So we decided to move out, and I had my wife, my son-in-law, my grandchildren. They were all with me when this was going on. Therefore, it was all the more serious, if you will.

          But before moving out, I just wanted to invite the cameras in, the media in. And I just reached out to the whole Turkish population by the TV channels. But the national broadcast was not reaching people's TVs, people's homes. So we had to switch to Plan B in terms of media and broadcasting as well. So what we did was we resorted to cellphones, smartphones, and went on live TV via the smartphones on a number of private TV channels. And via those broadcasts, I invited people to take to the streets, to go to the squares in their cities.

          And the first reactions I got was that -- well, immediately after that invitation, I was informed that people were actually taking to the streets en masse. And that was very important because the only language these putschists, these coup-attempters, would be the only way to fight this coup would be a counter-coup by the hand of the people. And that’s what our people achieved.

          You took to the airwaves of our affiliate channel, CNN Turk, using FaceTime. You said you’d called for your supporters to hit these streets. This was a pivotal moment. This was the first time that anybody had seen you. Do you agree there is a sense of irony in your call to one of the privately-owned, independent channels in Turkey, proved to be that pivotal moment? And do you have an appreciation, to a certain extent, of the free press and social media since your experience? (Laughter)

          Erdogan: Now, of course, we have always had estimation for free press and, of course, privately-owned media outlets. And over the course of our government, 14-year rule in government, we've always facilitated these things. We've removed some obstacles, and we've supported these kinds of entrepreneurs. And when CNN wanted to do that with us that night, the first four talks, if you will, or broadcasts, were with privately-held channels. There was CNN, and A-Habesh (ph), and NTV and NTGRT -- those were the channels.

          Given the opportunity for your own freedom of speech that night, will you commit to a free media in what is a democracy here going forward? I just want to put that to you before we move on.

          Erdogan: Now, Becky, when it comes to free press, I’ve never had that issue whatsoever. If some people keep saying that the press is still not free in Turkey, then I would like to say this: there has been a coup attempt in Turkey. And there are people siding with the coup plotters. And there are -- there is also media outlets that have been against -- that are against the coup attempt.

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