>> Making a stand against censorship as Turkish authorities arrest three Press Freedom campaigners. Journalists and activist gathering outside the Istanbul offices of a national newspaper. On Monday, three journalists were taken in on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda. The move further stoking international fears for freedom of speech in Turkey under the president, Tayyip Erdogan.
Reuters' Ayla Jean Yackley in Istanbul has been covering the reaction.>> The European Union released a statement on Monday saying that the arrests raised concerns about Turkey's commitment to fundamental rights. For some people here in Turkey, that response didn't go far enough. There's a general sense here that the relationship between the European Union and Turkey is based primarily on this multi-billion dollar deal.
In which Turkey in return for helping stem the flow of migrants to Europe will get accelerated admission into the European Union. And the de facto assumption there is that the European Union will turn a blind eye to some of Turkey’s alleged human rights abuses.>> A court ordered the three campaigners to be held in pretrial detention.
>> This certainly feels like it's coming at the end of a long string of episodes, in which the press has been targeted. The issues here in Turkey have included seizures of newspapers and television channels, cutting broadcasts. But also sort of more perhaps insidious self censorship has taken hold in a lot of Turkish media.
In which concern about a reaction and response from the government causes journalist and media owners to be a bit more careful and less critical in their coverage of the government.>> The authorities, though, denied trying to muzzle free expression. An official at Erdogan office declined to comment on the cases.
It's still unclear how long the three will be held in custody or when they would face trial.