December 26, 2011: URGENT CALL OF SOLIDARITY FOR THE JOURNALIST PRISONERS IN TURKEY
December 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
Turkey currently holds more than 60 journalists in prison and the number goes up regularly. Last week, Turkish police detained more than 40 journalists, as part of a growing investigation against the Kurdistan Communities Union, KCK, an umbrella organization for Kurdish political movement.
At the same time, the second hearing of ODA TV case, which is the most symbolic case about freedom of press in Turkey, is approaching. This hearing will be held in Çağlayan Court House, in İstanbul on 26th of December 2011. The 13 journalists including well-known investigative journalists Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener have been in prison for nine months already because of the ODA TV case. All of these journalists have made critical news about Justice and Development Party (AKP), the ruling party in Turkey. These journalists are accused of crimes like being involved in a plot to overthrow the government, being member of a terrorist organisation, etc… There is no proof or evidence pertaining to these accusations yet!
It is obvious that these accusations are based on fictional grounds! During the tenure of his career, Şık focused on exposing human rights violations by the state, rings of corruption within the government and unveiling the abuses of the ‘deep state’. Prior to his arrest, he was working on an investigative book known as “Imam’s Army”, which was about how a powerful religious group led by Fethullah Gulen (a Muslim preacher and educator living in the United States, seen as an influential voice of opposition against secularism in Turkey) was organised within Turkey’s police force.
Police confiscated draft copies of the book during a raid on Şık’s family home in March 3, 2011. But the text has shown up on the Internet in defiance of the law and was downloaded by many, which was a means of protesting the arrests. Recently the book was published in Turkey, as an act of civil disobedience with the signatures of 125 journalists and writers from Turkey.
Şener, Şık’s prison mate, is also a vocal critic of crimes committed by the state apparatus. He was honoured by ‘the World Press Freedom Hero award’ by the International Press Institute for his investigative book about the assassination of Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor Hrant Dink in 2007, which has also gone through the alleged involvement of state security officials in the assassination.
Many journalists’ associations, democratic institutions, unions, political parties, intellectuals, artists will hold a mass protest on 26th December 2011 at 12.30 p.m. in front of the Çağlayan Court House. We urge you to show your solidarity with journalist prisoners. We urge all to protest the Turkish government for these unlawful and unfair practices.
Journalist Friends of Ahmet and Nedim
For more information:
Our blog page in English: https://turkeypressfreedom.wordpress.com/
Our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/ahmehnedimonurumuzdur/