U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said, his country would continue to defend the freedom of expression, critisizm and press of all countries, as universal values, before a meeting with journalists, academics and civil society representatives, in Istanbul on Friday.
"Free expression and strong Turkish democracy matters not only the Turks, bu America; it matters to us" Biden told journalists, before the meeting started. "Strength of this democracy impacts on strength of alliance. Every nation is different. No nation have the rigt to tell others what to do and what not to do" he said and added:
"But there are certain thing that they are universal. They trans-in national borders. One of them is freedom of speech and freedom of press. Most important freedoms that we Americans believe and your constitution says; are basic fundamental rights."
"If you do not have the ability to express your opinion or criticise poicy then your country is being robbed" he warned. "United States has never hesitated to defend its fundemental freedom, of all, friends. These are not just American values. We believe they are universal values. Without freedom of press, without freedom of speech, it constrains almost every aspect of human society, to previlidge the ability of to build a better society."
He said, the freedom of speech and press were not new ideas for the people of Turkey. "It is your constitution. Your constitution calls for it also. We want to see Turkey to set a strong example in the entire region; showing what the democracy means" he added.
The more Turkey succeeds, stronger the message sent to the entire Middle East and this part of the world he said as "the notion of freedom."
Biden reminder that more than 1,000 academics were accused to prison in Turkey, "simply by signing a petition". "That is not kind of example that needs to be set in the region" stressed.
"I want to make it clear (the U.S.) President (Barack Obama) and I stand by Ambassador (John) Bass" he said, reminding that Bass had criticised the situation of the academics faced, by saying "Critisizm is equal to its reason." "He (Bass) he speaks for my country, for the the government, for the American people" Biden added.
"Freedom of press is where my all freedom lies, and everyone else's. And the attempt to block or sanction the media, it is not only a bad idea when it comes to freedom of press. it is also a bad idea for a country to expect to succeed economicaly and grow" he said.
"The reason why we are so successful on the entrepreunership, the digital world and technology... It is because… a young man at Stanford Universty, Steve Jobs, who passed away, said think different. Meaning challenge orthodoxy, be free to challange orthodoxy; cultural, religios, scientific, politic. you have to break the old to break the new. If you cannot breath free, you cannot creat..." he said.
Biden said, "We will continue to urge not only your government, but all govenments to take look at what elements exist, where you see succesful countries thriving. One of those circustances is the ability of breath free… the ability to criticise… the ability to challenge orthodoxy… it is not only regarding the basic human rights, the problem that relates to economic mobility and successs."