Home / Human Rights / Press Freedom / Turkish Prosecutor asks up to 3 consecutive life sentences for 30 columnists & editors

Turkish Prosecutor asks up to 3 consecutive life sentences for 30 columnists & editors

Photo: Diken
Accusations such as “attempting to remove the constitutional order”, ”attempting to remove the parliament or prevent it from working”, “attempting to remove the government of the Republic of Turkey or prevent it from working” and “being a member of an armed terrorist organization” were directed to 30 defendants from İstanbul Public Prosecutor Terror and Organized Crime Investigation Bureau.

Mumtaz’er Turköne, Şahin Alpay and Ali Bulaç are also among the accused.

It was stated in the indictment that the Zaman newspaper, which was established in 1986, was completely taken over by the Gülen Movement in 1987. It was told that the movement was trying to direct the society using the media as a weapon from the 1990s.

The indictment also accused suspect columnists of using expressions that violates the rights of state authorities and institutions by crossing the limits of freedom of press and expression, making statements that can threat the national security or disrupt social peace and public order, calling for a military coup, fulfilling their duties in the hierarchy of the Gülen Movement by completing the organizational goals and objectives.

Approach of FETÖ Media to People and Organizations Who Oppose

The indictment says that FETÖ’s media was actuated with the decision of closing the private courses which were the major income sources for the movement in Turkey. It was told that the media was used as an attack tool against people and organizations that opposed the idea and practice of the movement. It was said that the religious group, that is known as “Footnoters (Tahşiyeciler)” publicly, was targeted by the movement because of their criticism to the movement’s dialog discourse. It is emphasized that they attempt to create the perception that the weapons went to the terrorist organization called ‘El Nusra’.

Perception Created with Column Writings

In the indictment it is said that after the operation, Zaman newspaper put some headlines such as “$ 4.5 million in shoe boxes, seven steel cases at home”, “they got arrested from bribery and illegal organization” and the columnists such as Ahmet Turan Alkan, Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Ali Akkuş, Mustafa Ünal and Mümtaz’er Türköne tried to create a suspicion of corruption with their column writings.

Defamation started in the newspapers, especially in Zaman, about the operations for members of the movement in the security forces and jurisdiction. It is stated that almost all of the headlines from December 1st to September 15th have been written against the government.

Along other things, Sahin Alpay is accused for writing “Abdullah Gun cannot stay as spectator about what is going on.”

Military Coup Message was Given in the Advertisement at 2013

In the indictment, it was said that the first coup message was made to the base of the movement by the Zaman newspaper in November, 2013, with the slogan “Time of Brotherhood” from an advertising poster. In the poster a citizen and a cop keep a Zaman newspaper together. In the part of the newspaper that the police holds, it says “Why do we need to fight?”. In the other part it was written “There’s another possibility”. So with that banner the possibility of a coup was given to the base of the movement.

Coup Messages from the Suspect Columnists

It was expressed that Ali Bulaç tried to infix the military coup to the base of the movement and the society with words of “Does the oppressed have the right to use swords?”. It is also said that Mümtaz’er Türköne’s column writings such as “The Palace Government that Manifested itself in Dolmabahçe Agreement” and “Era of Quondam Approaching”.

The article of former columnist Ali Ünal was also seen as an invitation to the coup. Ali Ünal said followings in his article: “It seems like that, let Erdoğan continue his war with the Service (Gülen Movement), when he was strangled in the plans of the people who had always planned to overthrow him, he will extend his hand to the Service in the name of salvation, but wisdom and justice of the fate will push that hand back.”

Compiled from Cumhuriyet, T24 and Diken by Osman Bilgin

Check Also

Interim Judgement on 3rd Hearing: Journalist Kadri Gürsel Released, four left arrested

Elif Akgül, Bianet The third hearing in the Cumhuriyet trial was held today (September 25) …