What is wrong with independent journalism?


Date posted: December 6, 2013

TUĞBA AYDIN

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç called on prosecutors to take legal action on Monday against the Taraf daily and journalist Mehmet Baransu, who revealed a controversial National Security Council (MGK) document last week, signed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in 2004, which detailed a planned crackdown on the Hizmet (Gülen) movement.

Taraf published a document last Thursday, prepared by the MGK on Aug. 25, 2004, whose contents persuaded the government to curb the activities of the Gülen movement by a series of measures. It advises the government to use legal methods to impose harsh penalties on Gülen-affiliated institutions.

Eyüp Can stated in his Radikal column on Thursday that if he had found the document released by Baransu, he would also have revealed it, as it sheds light on a turbulent period in Turkey’s history. Can agreed with the document’s publication but believes that the time was not right, as members of the Hizmet movement are currently in conflict with the government over its plan to close exam preparation schools. According to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), it is not a crime to publish a secret document which is in the public interest, wrote Can. Can also adds that even if the government reacts harshly to the release of secret documents, the sharing of information liberates people.

According to Gültekin Avcı’s Thursday column in Bugün, the document plainly contradicts the assertions of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) accused the government of using the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) to compile a profiling database of files on the activities of 15 CHP deputies in August. After this accusation, both Erdoğan and Ergin denied the CHP claim, saying that such activities had not taken place since November, 2002.

Source: Today's Zaman , December 6, 2013


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