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Clinton Concerned About Media Freedom in Turkey

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu walk before their meeting in Istanbul, July 16, 2011

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she is concerned about media freedom in Turkey, after Turkish media groups reported that about 60 journalists have been jailed there.

Clinton said Saturday in Istanbul a crackdown on journalists is not necessary and not in Turkey's interest. She said the European Union candidate's move seems "inconsistent" with other advances the country has made.

Clinton praised Turkey for its political progress and economic growth. She said the country's democratic traditions could be a model for other countries in the region.

EU officials opened accession talks with the Ankara government in 2005. But the process has slowed considerably since, with both France and Germany raising objections to mainly-Muslim Turkey's membership.

The EU has frozen talks on eight key areas in the lengthy accession process in an attempt to push Turkey to open its ports to Cyprus.

Turkey does not recognize the Greek Cypriot government, and has sided with the Turkish Cypriot north in the 36-year standoff that has divided the Mediterranean island-nation. Ongoing reconciliation talks begun in 2008 between the Turkish north and Greek Cypriot south have so far failed to produce a settlement.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.