Sweep these [journalists] off the floor


Date posted: March 16, 2016

Martino Pillitteri

«My life changed in less than 3 hours. I was supposed to speak at a conference on terrorism, then I find myself accused of being liked to terrorists». Not to mention that now she lives abroad away form her family and she is risking to be arrested if she returns to Turkey.

The life of Sevgi Akarçeşme, former editor in chief of Today’s Zaman, an English-language sister publication of the group’s flagship Turkish-language daily Zaman, turned upside down on March 4th 2016. That day, a Turkish court ruled the newspaper Zaman should be run by appointed trustees. An official reason for the decision was not given. Unofficially, Zaman is paying a heavy price for being critical of the Turkish government and for the alleged link to the Cemaat movement, a group labelled by the Turkish government as a terrorist organization.

Speaking at a conference in Brussels “When will there be a EU-Turkey summit on press freedom ?” Sevgi Akarçeşmerecalled the sequence of events that marked one of the worse days of press freedom in Turkey: The occupation and of the Zaman building and newsroom by the police.

«It was around 11 pm. We were working to put out the next special edition of the paper before the new appointed administrators arrived, when the police raided the offices. Before entering the building, the officers fired tear gas at protesters who had gathered outside».

zaman-police-raid

The former editor in chief, (but also formally still in charge since she did not resign nor she was fired-yet) was at the 4thfloor, the one occupied by the executives. «The police came right to this floor. They did not allow me to engage in any sort of communication. It was kind of brutal treatment. They tried to stop me from broadcasting the raid on Periscope. They eventually confiscated my cell phone. My editors colleagues« she added «were prevented from entering their offices. One of the police officers also said to sweep these people off this floor. This was one of the most striking comments of that night. The experience was dramatic. Now I feel a more relieved, but sometimes I still feel the impact of that drama. I am indeed concerned about my personal safety, therefore I am not going to go back to Turkey soon. The day I left my country, Sunday the 6th, I did was not stopped not questions at the airport, But it was tense. I felt like I was in the movie Argo, the scene at the passport check».

Dressed totally in black as she wanted to signalling the dark age Turkish press is facing and speaking with a confident but malinconic voice, she went on claiming that most of the Turkish people is not aware of the media crackdowncarried out by the government and its grip on the press. «The fate of Zaman is more known abroad then at home. Turkish people are almost in complete darkness in receiving reliable reporting and news stories. There is no single TV station that is offering independent news coverage. And it will get worse. Today Turkey is not a safe place for journalists. If you voice out criticism toward the government, you will pay a heavy price. What is happening to journalists today, it can happen to citizens tomorrow».

Sevgi Akarçeşme added also some comments on the current negotiations between the Eu and Ankara on the migrants agenda. «Personally » she said «I find extremely disappointing that the Eu has turned a blind eye on Endogan fearing an increase of refugees. »I don’t think the Eu will live up to its values. I will not take any European political seriously when they talk about values and principles».

Source: Vita International , March 15, 2106


Related News

Auto companies from 27 countries join TUSKON summit

Representatives of automotive manufacturing companies from 27 countries were in the city of Konya on Tuesday to participate in a trade and investment summit organized by the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON).

Turkish finance minister declines to comment on ‘color lists’

Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek on Tuesday declined to comment on a question about claims that the government recruits public sector employees using “color lists” to avoid people affiliated with groups such as the Hizmet movement and critics of the government.

The Fountain 100th Issue Essay Contest

With its 100th issue, The Fountain invites you to join us in our celebration. Write in an essay a projection of yourself on your 100th birthday. What would you say to yourself at that age? What would your 100-year-old self tell you back? Would it be a conversation of praise and/or regret? Praise for achievements in your career, but regrets for a destroyed family? Warnings for the mistakes you did in your projected future or you will do in your past; pitfalls you happened to be dragged into, temptations you could not resist; or celebrations for the good character you were able to display and sustain a whole life, a precious life wasted or a life lived as it was meant to be.

Gülen’s critics have no supporting evidence, says academic

EMRE OĞUZ American sociology professor Helen Rose Ebaugh, who has written a book analyzing the Gülen movement, has said those criticizing the movement have no documents to back up their criticisms. Ebaugh, the author of a book titled “The Gülen Movement: A Sociological Analysis of a Civic Movement Rooted in Moderate Islam,” was speaking at […]

Secretary Tillerson: Evidence against Gulen provided by Turkey inadequate, while voluminous

Mr Gulen denies any role in the failed coup in July, and US officials have privately said the evidence provided by Turkey has been inadequate, while voluminous. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim recently described the delay as a joke on Turkey.

Gülen calls on followers to adapt to PM’s teaching center closures

“If they close your homes, you should open dorms. If they close your dorms, you will open new homes. If they close your schools, you will respond by opening a university. And when they close your university, you should open ten schools. You should never stop marching,” Gülen said in a video that was posted at Herkül.org, a website close to the movement.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Mother of four under detention for months on coup charges

Tanzanian Minister hails Turkey for continued support in education

Secular Pakistanis resist Turkey’s ‘authoritarian’ demands

Turkish PM Davutoglu baselessly claims Hizmet works with PKK

Fethullah Gülen’s Condemnation of the New Year’s Eve Terrorist Attack in Istanbul Nightclub

Women gather for UN development agenda in İstanbul

60-year old man covers 309 km in 17 days to protest son’s arrest on coup charges

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News