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Turkey orders formal arrest of 9 Cumhuriyet newspaper staff

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Re: Turkey orders formal arrest of 9 Cumhuriyet newspaper st

Postby Tim Drayton » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:37 pm

The opinion expressed in yesterday’s report ‘Memorandum on freedom of expression and media freedom in Turkey’ by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights about the campaign against Cumhuriyet newspaper:

85. The Commissioner examined, for example, the decisions of criminal judges of the peace to detain journalists and administrators of daily Cumhuriyet, one of the oldest newspapers in Turkey with a consistent record of critical and courageous investigative journalism vis-à-vis Turkish governments from diverse political movements. As of the date of the writing of this memorandum, the detention had already lasted more than 80 days. These journalists were detained on the basis of charges of acting on behalf of a terrorist organisation, without being a member.

86. For example, in its relevant decision regarding the detention of Bülent Utku, Güray Tekin Öz, Önder Çelik, Ahmet Kadri Gürsel, Turhan Günay, Hacı Musa Kart, Hakan Karasinir and Mustafa Kemal Güngör, the 9th criminal judgeship of the peace of Istanbul stated that “scrutiny of news items, headlines and article details published in the Cumhuriyet newspaper lead to the conclusion that the newspaper published many news items which could be
considered propaganda for the FETÖ and PKK armed terrorist organisations”. To support this assessment, the court listed, among others, a number of articles critical of certain government measures taken in the aftermath of the coup attempt, referred to the affair of the arms sent by the Turkish secret services to Syria which was exposed by the newspaper, as well as to disparaging remarks about the newspaper made by former writers of Cumhuriyet, occasional parallels between the headlines of Cumhuriyet and Zaman newspapers, articles on the destruction caused by anti-terrorist operations in the South-East, and numerous other examples of purely journalistic activity which were considered as pieces of evidence. Considering that the collection of evidence had not been completed, and the seriousness of the charges, the judge decided to order the detention of the suspects.

87. The Commissioner is struck by the complete absence of any consideration for freedom of expression in the judge’s assessment, the incongruity of the charges of making propaganda for both FETÖ and PKK at the same time, organisations which have consistently opposed one another, as well as the lack of material evidence establishing any link whatsoever between the suspects and these organisations, aside from a non-contextual reading of newspaper articles critical of the government

88. In the opinion of the Commissioner, these decisions show that these detentions are unjustified. They also strongly suggest that the aim behind them was that of silencing one of the very few remaining critical, but mainstream and respected, voices in the media.


https://wcd.coe.int/com.instranet.Instr ... 56&Usage=2
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Re: Turkey orders formal arrest of 9 Cumhuriyet newspaper st

Postby Tim Drayton » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:12 pm

Two criminal gangs take over a sovereign country and conspire to bleed it dry. Then they fall out over who gets what share of the spoils and a huge battle breaks out between them. Eventually, one of the gangs wins and declares the losing gang to be terrorists and also rewrites history so they were never partners. When the two gangs were partners in crime, one of the gangs controlled the police and courts, and one of its jobs was to prosecute and imprison on trumped-up charges anybody who opened their mouth in opposition to what was going on. However, since the bust up, the winning gang now prosecutes anybody who opens their mouth in opposition of being in league with the losing gang, now branded a terrorist.
An investigative journalist who wrote a detailed book about the way the gang that later lost infiltrated the state was prosecuted for being a terrorist by that gang when it controlled the police and courts. That trial is still in process although the prosecutor wants to acquit all the defendants because that gang is now the bad, terrorist gang. However, at the same time, that same journalist, who has always been a staunch critic of both gangs, is now being prosecuted in a new fabricated trial for being a terrorist again, but this time for supposedly being a supporter of the gang that he was once being prosecuted for exposing. So, he is at one and the same time being prosecuted in one trial as a terrorist for writing books and articles exposing the gang that went on to lose, and in another trial as a terrorist for supporting that gang that is now branded a terrorist organisation by the winning gang. Confused? Yes, the quantum politics of Turkey are hard to fathom.
That journalist is Ahmet Şık, one of the Cumhuriyet twelve currently being held in solitary confinement and under punitive conditions denied the right to send and receive letters and with very limited visiting rights, despite only being on pre-trial remand and thus presumed to be innocent until found guilty, conditions that are in blatant violation of the letter and spirit of the country's Code of Criminal Procedure. However, on Wednesday he appeared in court in the old trial in which he was accused of being a terrorist for opposing the old gang that has now fallen out of favour, as opposed to the new trial in which he is charged with being its supporter, and he used the occasion to deliver a blistering speech in his defence. His paper has published an English translation of that speech here:

http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/engl ... ts....html
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Re: Turkey orders formal arrest of 9 Cumhuriyet newspaper st

Postby repulsewarrior » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:13 pm

...thanks Tim; brilliant, good read.
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