Jailed Zaman editor says we are journalists, not terrorists

The logo of Turkish daily newspaper Zaman is seen on the headquarters building as people demonstrate in support of the newspaper in Istanbul on March 4, 2016. An Istanbul court on Friday ordered into administration the Turkish daily newspaper Zaman that is sharply critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, amid growing alarm over freedom of expression in the country.
The logo of Turkish daily newspaper Zaman is seen on the headquarters building as people demonstrate in support of the newspaper in Istanbul on March 4, 2016. An Istanbul court on Friday ordered into administration the Turkish daily newspaper Zaman that is sharply critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, amid growing alarm over freedom of expression in the country.


Date posted: September 20, 2017

Former Zaman daily Ankara Representative Mustafa Ünal, who is standing trial after 414 days in pretrial detention, said on Monday that he and other colleagues in the same case are journalists, not terrorists.

Speaking during the hearing at the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court in the Silivri Prison compound on Monday, Ünal underlined that he was a journalist who was trying to survive by expressing his views in Zaman before it was shut down by the government. He also said he knows many members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) personally.

“I want to ask them [AKP members]: Are we terrorists?”

Underlining that he is standing trial for writing against the government, Ünal said he has never been afraid of being tried for the things he has written. “However, the indictment will go down in the history of the judiciary and the media for not having even the suspicion of a crime having been committed, let alone evidence of one,” he added.

Also testifying during the hearing on Monday, former Zaman night editor İbrahim Karayeğen said his name is among the suspects in the case; however, he doesn’t even know what charges he is facing despite having been held in pretrial detention for 414 days.

Underlining that he wants all putshchists who attempted a coup on July 15 of last year to be punished with the most severe of penalties, Karayeğen said he had been working at Zaman for 12 years and continued to work as a night shift editor with the new administration after the daily was seized in March 2016.

“Someone may ask why I continued to work at Zaman and why I didn’t leave it [after the government started to target it]. That is a cruel question. How could I find a place to work as a journalist when thousands of other colleagues were unemployed,” he said.

Denying that he used the infamous ByLock smart phone application, Karayeğen said he has never downloaded the app, believed by Turkish authorities to have been used as a communication tool among followers of the Gülen movement, which accused by the government of being behind the failed coup.

He also said he was detained after the abortive coup as he was trying to travel abroad, which is his legal right.

Karayeğen’s daughter Zeliha Esra Karayeğen was also arrested by a court on Aug. 10 for having an account in the government-shuttered Bank Asya and for downloading the ByLock application.

Along with Ünal and Karayeğen, a total of 30 former Zaman journalists, 21 of whom are in jail, are facing “terrorism” and “coup-plotting” charges due to having worked and written for the Zaman daily, which was linked to the Gülen movement.

Former Zaman employees Mümtaz’er Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Alaattin Güner, Cuma Kaya, Faruk Akkan, Hakan Taşdelen, Hüseyin Belli, Hüseyin Turan, İbrahim Karayeğen, İsmail Küçük, Mehmet Özdemir, Murat Avcıoğlu, Mustafa Ünal, Onur Kutlu, Sedat Yetişkin, Şeref Yılmaz, Yüksel Durgut and Zafer Özsoy have been in pretrial detention for 14 months as the judges repeatedly rejected challenges to their detention despite the fact that there was no reason to keep them in jail pending trial.

Ahmet İrem, Ali Hüseyinçelebi, Süleyman Sargın, Osman Nuri Arslan, Osman Nuri Öztürk, Lalezer Sarıibrahimoğlu, Nuriye Ural and Orhan Kemal Cengiz are also named as suspects in the indictment, but they are being tried without detention. Professor İhsan Duran Dağı, who used to work as a columnist for Zaman, is cited as a fugitive in the indictment.

 

Source: Turkish Minute , September 18, 2017


Related News

Gülen: Alevi-Sunni brotherhood should not be marred by bridge controversy

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has put emphasis on Alevi-Sunni brotherhood in comments on an ongoing controversy over the naming of a new bridge to be built over the Bosporus after an Ottoman Sultan who Alevis say is responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of Alevis in the early 16th century. In a […]

Businessmen released following operation against Gülen movement

Based on the government’s much criticized “reasonable suspicion” law, a large number of businessmen in Uşak province were detained last week as part of an investigation into the so-called “parallel structure,” although most of them were released late on Friday night due to a lack of evidence to support a possible prosecution.

Alevi associations react against halt of mosque-cemevi project

Several Alevi Bektaşi Associations affiliated with the Federation of Alevi Foundations (AVF), which together represent 600 cemevis and 300 local Alevi community associations, have strongly condemned the refusal by Ankara’s Mamak Municipality

SCF Reveals Mass Torture And Abuse In An Unofficial Detention Facility In Turkey’s Capital

“I heard all kinds of curse and swearing against my family during the interrogation. They threatened me with raping my family members. I saw one man who had a black eye on his eyes. I witnessed another man as having difficulty in walking because police shoved a baton into his anus. So many victims have marks in their bodies from abuse and torture.”

Turkey’s Internet watchdog blocks access to website broadcasting Gülen’s speeches

Turkey’s state-controlled Internet watchdog, the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB), has blocked access to herkul.org, a website that regularly broadcasts speeches by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

Are Gülen’s remarks on talks with PKK really surprising?

ABDÜLHAMİT BİLİCİ When he said, “Peace is in itself goodness, and peace brings happiness,” Fethullah Gülen, a well-respected Turkish Islamic scholar, made a deep impact on the public debate revolving around the new peace process which started with the negotiations between the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, who […]

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

Bangladeshi scholar publishes book on Gülen

Black propaganda websites granted legal shield

Gülen says talk of raid against Zaman aims to intimidate

Recalling Turkey’s ‘post-modern coup’

Fethullah Gulen and Gulen Movement Discussed at German Symposium

The consequences of tyranny never change

Gulen inspired organizations honor world youth in Washington D.C.

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News