December 17, 2014

Gülen says many would like to be in detained journalists’ shoes

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has said he believes many people, including he himself, would like to be in the shoes of Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı and Samanyolu Broadcasting Group General Manager Hidayet Karaca, who were detained in a police operation on Sunday, implying that it is an honor for the journalists to be in custody under Turkey's current circumstances.

What is happening in Turkey?

Emre Uslu

Turkey again attracts attention in the world as a country where press freedom is controversial. The Zaman daily's Editor-in-chief Ekrem Dumanlı and Samanyolu TV's head Hidayet Karaca have been detained now for four days. The reason for their detention is the allegation that the Gülen movement conspired against a group called Tahşiye. Most probably you have already read about the allegations. The reason for this is obvious. The prosecutors who invented crimes out of a TV series in 2009 are acting in this way to please President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, not to comply with the law. Erdoğan is trying to teach his rivals a lesson and to intimidate others at the same time.

Questions and answers in Tahşiye group debate

Bülent Korucu

What are the charges against Ekrem Dumanlı, Hidayet Karaca and other journalists?

Detention turns into punishment of journalists

The detention of two prominent journalists, which has already been extended unnecessarily, was marred by due process violations, turning the process into a punishment by itself.

December 16, 2014

No return from democracy, Zaman editor Dumanlı says under detention

Ekrem Dumanlı, the editor-in-chief of Turkey's most circulated paper, the Zaman daily, emphasized his strong belief in democracy on the third day of his detention in an unprecedented government-backed police crackdown.

What is the main offense that the Cemaat (Hizmet movement) has committed?

Ahmet Hakan, Hürriyet

Those police officers who carried out the operation are so incompetent… They helped the perception that “Fuat Avni” [a deep throat within the government who is disclosing the government-planned unlawful operations prior to them being put into action] knows everything that even [Deputy Prime Minister] Bülent Arınç does not know to be imprinted on people's minds and helped many people to ask, “What is the Cemaat's main offense?”

Unraveling the facts of the unprecedented crackdown on Turkish media

The largest ever crackdown on Turkish media on Sunday, with the arbitrary detention of the best-selling newspaper's editor-in-chief and a leading national TV network's general director, raised a lot of concerns at home and abroad about whether Turkey is sliding fast on the scale of democracy.

The witch-hunt reaches Turkey’s media

Mahir Zeynalov

“If this is a witch-hunt, yes, we will carry out this witch-hunt,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a few months ago to confront criticism that his government has gone too far in removing police officers and prosecutors who carried out a corruption investigation against his ministers and son.

Behind the scenes of Tahşiyeciler setup as pretext for clampdown on free press

Bülent Korucu

The police conducted an operation against an al-Qaeda-linked organization in 2010. The order for this operation was given by then-Police Chief Oğuz Kağan Köksal, who is currently a deputy for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). One of the members of this organization who was tried under this operation decided to take advantage of the government's "parallel" paranoia and filed a complaint in connection with this operation. This complaint is now being used as a pretext for the recent crackdown on journalists.

Free Media Cannot be silenced

Begüm Burak

The detention of the journalists was a “black day for democracy” for Zaman, in contrast to pro-government Star's headline saying “their caves have been entered”

Heading for a repressive regime at full speed

Orhan Kemal Cengiz

Last Friday night I rang one after the other the editors-in-chief of the Zaman, Today's Zaman and Bugün newspapers -- Ekrem Dumanlı, Bülent Keneş and Erhan Başyurt, respectively. Their names were cited by Fuat Avni, a Twitter phenomenon, as journalists who would be taken into custody.

What to do and what not to do now

Joost Lagendijk

The latest wave of media arrests has shown, again, that there are no limits to the campaign of revenge waged by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his lackeys in the government, the judiciary and the media. All those who dare to stand up and protest against the suffocating authoritarianism of the current rulers are targeted. Last weekend, this newspaper and other media linked to the Hizmet movement were the victims. Today, Beşiktaş fans are in court, facing long prison sentences. Nobody knows who will be next.

The crushing of free media

Amanda Paul

George Orwell wrote freedom of the press “means the freedom to criticize and oppose.” Unfortunately in Turkey, the space to oppose and criticize is shrinking by the minute. Already in very poor health, media freedom plunged to an all-time disgraceful low this week following a police operation ordered by the authorities to arrest dozens of journalists on what are clearly sham charges.

The democratic challenge

Doğu Ergil

On Sunday (Dec. 14) the police raided the Zaman daily and Samanyolu TV and detained some of their top executives. They also detained former police chiefs. They were accused of belonging to a terrorist network conspiring to overthrow the incumbent government, among other charges.

Western countries voice concern over mass media arrests

A number of Western countries have expressed concern over a recent detention of senior media figures in Turkey.

White House concerned over arrest of Turkish journalists

The White House has expressed concerns over the arrest of Turkish journalists, including Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı, and called on Ankara to conduct investigations in a manner consistent with the rule of law.

Media detentions spark crisis in beleaguered EU ties

Federica Mogherini, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, expressed surprise after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed Brussels for remarks critical of recent media detentions.

Andrew Duff call for Turkey’s EU accession negotiations to be suspended

The Union of European Federalists (UEF) president Andrew Duff, calls for EU to halt ongoing accession talks with Turkey amidst anti-democratic detainments of journalists.

EU Council questions Turkey’s respect to media freedom with recent arrests

The European Union Council has said recent police raids and the detention of a number of journalists and media representatives in Turkey call into question the respect for freedom of the media, which it characterized as a "core principle of democracy."

Right to defense of detained journalists Dumanlı and Karaca violated

Fikret Duran, the lawyer of Samanyolu Broadcasting Group General Manager Hidayet Karaca, who was taken into custody along with the Zaman newspaper's editor-in-chief in a government-backed crackdown, has announced that her client's right to a defense has been limited by an order from the prosecutor to reduce the numbers of lawyers working on the case.

Peaceful protests against media crackdown continue across Turkey

Hundreds of thousands of people across various provinces of the country continued to voice their objection on Tuesday to a government-orchestrated operation that resulted in the detention of Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı, stating that government attempts to silence free media will fail.

Criticism of police raids continues to trend on social media

Two days after the police raids on Hizmet-affiliated media groups throughout Turkey, criticism of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) continued to trend on Twitter on Tuesday.