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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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Re: Turkey orders formal arrest of 9 Cumhuriyet newspaper st

Postby Tim Drayton » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:15 am

Int’l press bodies to call on Turkish gov’t to free jailed journalists

http://stockholmcf.org/intl-press-bodie ... urnalists/
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Re: Turkey orders formal arrest of 9 Cumhuriyet newspaper st

Postby Tim Drayton » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:21 am

Ahmet Şık was in court again last week, in another case in which he is being prosecuted for having said the last time he walked out of prison where he had been held on remand for charges that he has now been acquitted of that the people responsible for putting him in prison (the Gulenists) would one day themselves end up behind bars - a prediction that has come true - and gave another blinding performance. There is an Engish translation of his address to the court here:

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

Postby Tim Drayton » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:25 am

Cumhuriyet newspaper is still going strong despite its key managerial and editorial staff having been held in remand for more than four months now on charges so ludicrous that the prosecution is unable to even draft an indictment, such that the only way they could stop Monday's printed paper from being distributed in the province of Adıyaman was to go round and buy up all the copies from newstands early in the morning - the reason being that that edition contained a story about the teacher son of a mayor in that province from the so-called Islamist criminal gang known as the AKP being remanded in custody for sexually abusing a child.

Cumhuriyet published the following article to mark the 120th day spent behind bars by its remanded staff members and includes two messages from the inside, remarkable since they are barred from sending letters, and a translation appears on the paper's English-language pages:

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

Postby Get Real! » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:56 pm

Am I the only one who has no problems with Erdo putting all his citizens behind bars? :?

In his place I’d do the same… but at a faster rate and he should build more prisons… he must be running out of room by now.

Come on Erdo… speed it up… industrialize it… read the Third Reich’s “Concentration Camps 101”. :)
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Re: Turkey orders formal arrest of 9 Cumhuriyet newspaper st

Postby Tim Drayton » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:16 pm

Well, interestingly there are plans afoot to significantly reduce the amount of jail time that common criminals in Turkey will have serve, and there are those who are speculating that the reason may be, with the prison population in the country having multiplied over recent years, to free more jail space for political prisoners.

http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/engl ... tion_.html

A word of caution to racist Greek nationalists, including those who masquerade as Choirokitians: a lot of political prisoners in Turkish jails just now are Kurdish, and they are supposed to be goodies.
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Re: Turkey orders formal arrest of 9 Cumhuriyet newspaper st

Postby Get Real! » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:24 pm

Tim Drayton wrote:A word of caution to racist Greek nationalists, including those who masquerade as Choirokitians:...

:shock: :lol: Nice one Tim...
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Re: Turkey orders formal arrest of 9 Cumhuriyet newspaper st

Postby Tim Drayton » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:09 pm

Speaking of Kurdish political prisoners, one example is İdris Baluken, a leading member and democratically elected MP of the legal HDP Party, large numbers of whose leading members have been summarily remanded and thrown in prison under strict conditions such as being under solitary confinement which violate the conditions envisaged for remandees (who are supposedly innocent until proven guilty) in Turkey's Code of Criminal Procudere, charged with the offence, as I see it, purely of being members an opposition party other than the fascist MHP with which the Islamofascist AKP has formed an undeclared alliance (If anybody has a better idea of what actual charges he stands accused of, please let me know). However, the court in Diyarbakır hearing his case correctly applied the law and ruled that there were no grounds for him to be in pre-trial detention and released him pending trial. This meant that he could actually return to parliament and perform his functions as an MP to which he was duly elected by a largely Kurdish electorare, in itself no mean feat in the 1 November 2015 elections that were blatantly rigged against the opposition. But, sadly, it was not long before another court ordered his detention, and his freedom lasted a mere 22 days. One consolation was Cumhuriyet newspaper, which is still steadfastly refusing to buckle under the pressure and continues to appear in print and online every day managed to conduct a lengthy interview with this Kurdish politician from a party whose major support base is in the Kurdish speaking regions of the country and which supports Kurdish autonomy was able to get his message out, one that very few news channels in Turkey would now care or dare to touch, especially important now that the pro-HDP, pro Kurdish autonomy paper Özgür Gündem has been shut down. The paper has also translated the interview into English, so has also helped to get the message out to the world, here:

http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/engl ... oters.html
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