Our paper’s Executive Board Chair Akın Atalay, attorney-at-law, who was arrested the day before yesterday at Atatürk Airport on his return home from Germany, was remanded in custody by Istanbul Penal Court of the Peace No 9, to which he was taken with the request for his remand. The same court previously remanded our nine columnists and managers.
Atalay’s interrogation by the prosecution at the police station began yesterday at 12.30 and ended at 15.18. In the afternoon, Atalay was taken to Istanbul Judicial Complex in Çağlayan. Atalay’s subsequent examination before the court started at 19.20 and ended at 23.00.
Istanbul Penal Court of the Peace No 9 judge, Mustafa Çakar, asserted in his decision that various news reports, headlines and specific items of news content published in our newspaper could be deemed to be FETÖ and PKK propaganda and that reports were carried that might create positive perceptions of these organisations.
Can Dündar’s report on the intelligence service’s ammunition-loaded trucks for which he was sentenced to five years and ten months’ imprisonment was also cited in support of the decision and information and photographs that required to be kept confidential were said to have been published as headline news.
Our paper’s former Ankara Representative Mustafa Balbay’s Twitter post: “At Cumhuriyet everything from FETÖism to Kurdism goes, but one is forbidden as a CHP MP to write articles” was also cited, the assertion being raised that, “This would appear to be evidence from a columnist who previously worked at Cumhuriyet that the newspaper in question was used by terrorist organisations.”
Can Dündar’s interview with the public prosecutor on the 17 December investigation, Celal Kara, was also cited as grounds, with it stated, “It would appear that his interviews with Can Dündar marked an abrupt change in Cumhuriyet’s statist, traditional, secular and nationalist stance that saw it target the state and carry headline news emanating from FETÖ that had designs on the state; and that these publications postdated İlhan Selçuk and Mustafa Balbay.” However, the investigation launched into Dündar’s interview in question ended with a decision to drop the charges.
Headlines cited as grounds
Cited in the decision as grounds for detention was our columnist Aydın Engin’s article entitled “Peace in the world, so what about at home?”, matching headlines in the Zaman newspaper and our paper about the PKK’s attack on military vehicles in Ankara in February 2016 and Russia shooting civilians in Azaz after its entry into the war in Syria, reports on the wounded trapped in a cellar in Cizre and our remanded Publication Consultant Kadri Gürsel’s article of 12 July 2016 with the headline, “Erdoğan wants to be our father.”
SUPPORT MESSAGES FOR ATALAY
Messages of support for detained Akın Atalay are appearing on Twitter. For a short while, 'Akın Atalay' was on the list of trend topics. Users are saying that an operation to silence Cumhuriyet is underway. Here are some of those messages:
Mustafa Hoş @mustafahos
Akın Atalay’s return will thwart all the ruses to blockade Cumhuriyet. I have my doubts as to whether this will also shame the lackeys in the AKP operation.
İsmail Saymaz @ismailsaymaz
Let’s see which paper reports: “Akın Atalay caught red-handed attempting to enter Turkey secretly.”
Nedim Şener @nedimsener2010
Cumhuriyet Executive Board Chair Akın Atalay has kept his word and returned from Germany. He’s now under arrest.
ONLY COWARDS AND THE GUILTY FLEE
Aykut Erdoğdu @aykuterdogdu
Cumhuriyet Executive Board Chair Akın Atalay, having returned to Turkey and giving himself up, has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to flee. Disgraceful.
Can Dündar @candundaradasi
We’ll fight until they’re all out. #Cumhuriyet
Kemal Göktaş @kemalgoktas
With Akın Atalay coming in full knowledge that he would go to jail, can we expect those who made various ridiculous comments about this affair to blush?
Gökhan ÖZBEK @gokhanozbek
Those regime toadies who said he had fled and left the others in the lurch:
He came knowing what would happen ...
Akın Atalay has shown that in spite of everything there’s hope in this land.