From Cumhuriyet to the public: We will not buckle

Cumhuriyet newspaper’s General Publication Manager Murat Sabuncu was arrested along with the paper’s reporters and managers following a search conducted at their homes in the morning hours. Proprietor Orhan Erinç has issued a statement on behalf of Cumhuriyet Foundation about the blow to press freedom and citizen’s rights to be informed.
05 Kasım 2016 Cumartesi, 13:18


Cumhuriyet newspaper is a newspaper and publishing a newspaper is not a crime.

Ever since its initiation on 7 May 1924, Cumhuriyet newspaper has striven through its columns for the establishing of true democracy in all senses in our country and has never been the newspaper of any government or any party. It is a newspaper that has devoted itself to the unfettering of reason from bigotry and science from religion and to winning society over to the principle of secularism along the path of “reason” ushered in by the Republic and Ataturk’s revolutions and principles. This and this alone is the truth.

Cumhuriyet newspaper has not once wavered from the line informing its journalism that deems as indispensable the existence of a secular, democratic, welfare state based on the rule of law and defends of human rights. It is a newspaper that was born along with the Republic of Turkey that is a champion of democracy. It derives its strength from its readers. Cumhuriyet newspaper cannot be brought to its knees by any force and continues, and will continue, to publish true to its journalistic values.

We do not even deem it to be correct to reply to the accusations that have been made and find this to be beneath our dignity.

However, let us repeat a known fact. It is common knowledge that when it reported on the huge danger that Fetullah Gülen and the community organised around him posed for the Republic of Turkey in the endeavour to thwart their ultimate goal of dispensing with secularism and destroying the Republic of Turkey and, having usurped it, establish an Islamic state, it did so for the purpose of alerting the people to the truth. We greet with astonishment and sorrow the launching of an investigation against the very Cumhuriyet newspaper Foundation and Management that had alerted the public in a way that defies denial through this reporting based on the accusations of “aiding and abetting” the “FETÖ/PDY and PKK/KCK terror organisations” and “while not being members, committing crimes on behalf of the organisation.”

Press freedom, the principles of a secular, democratic, welfare state based on the rule of law and basic human rights and freedoms must be protected along with the universal principles of law.

We consider the acts of detention/arrest/seizure premised on all but incredible and unacceptable accusations such as committing crimes on behalf of terrorist organisations and making reports that serve to legitimise the 15 July attempted coup to be unacceptable and to be illegal acts. Acts that aim to remove legal certainty cannot be countenanced.

Investigations into press offences triggered by the Cumhuriyet newspaper’s reporting have become common place. It is perfectly natural for our journalists and reporters to be summoned give a statement to the Press Prosecutor's Office as to their reporting.

However, this case involved acts of detention/arrest and seizure/search conducted in a morning raid targeting the Cumhuriyet Newspaper Foundation’s managers and reporters.

We perceive these acts directed at our newspaper’s reporters, above all the Foundations Managers and Cumhuriyet Newspaper General Publishing Management, who are perfectly able to attend whenever summoned to make statement, to be the first move in the direction of stopping Cumhuriyet newspaper from appearing. Such a move is tantamount to the end of legal certainty and press freedom.

The move to stop Cumhuriyet newspaper from appearing through such accusations, devoid as they are of either legal basis or credibility, constitutes a blatant breach of press freedom and the right of the people to obtain news and find out the truth. An immediate halt must be put to the operations launched against Cumhuriyet newspaper and the endeavours to silence Cumhuriyet newspaper.

We at Cumhuriyet newspaper strongly condemn the efforts to stop our newspaper from appearing.

Let there be no mistake about it

Just as Cumhuriyet newspaper was not brought to its knees by any force in any coup period, just as yesterday it battled Gulenist prosecutors and judges and the forces under their command, today it has the strength to do battle until the end against all kinds of pressure regardless of where and who it emanates from.

We are convinced that our struggle will continue in tandem wıth our readers and in a spirit of solidarity.

Even if Cumhuriyet newspaper’s managers and reporters have been arrested, our newspaper will pursue its fight for democracy and freedom until the end.

We thank all of our readers who have stood by Cumhuriyet newspaper, as well as all of those who feel solidarity towards Cumhuriyet newspaper as it refuses to buckle under the pressure, convinced of the enlightened future awaiting Turkey.