The detention of cumhuriyet.com.tr’s Editor-in-Chief, Oğuz Güven, has prompted a strong reaction from opposition MPs and journalists. CHP Istanbul MP Barış Yarkadaş said, ‘Today, at this judicial complex, a decision that had obviously previously been taken was handed down to Oğuz Güven.’ Yarkadaş, making a statement in front of Çağlayan Judicial Complex following the detention order, said, ‘The detaining of a journalist for a Tweet that remained live for 55 seconds is a huge threat for freedom of speech. The twisting of a headline that is questionable from a journalistic viewpoint into such an accusation as making propaganda for a terrorist organisation also shows the extent to which journalism is under threat.’ The CHP MP commented, ‘We are witnessing one of the most absurd trials in history. The judiciary has today mowed down journalism.’ Yarkadaş said, ‘The statements made at the investigation stage and in the detention warrant are mutually irrelevant and full of prejudice. This is also a concrete example that serves to show how the prejudice towards and perception of Cumhuriyet newspaper was reflected even in the decision record.’ The decision evoked the following reactions from opposition MPs, journalism professional organisations and journalists:
TURGAY OLCAYTO: Oppression and intimidation of journalists continues in Turkey. We have given up the latest victim today in Oğuz Güven. Throwing somebody inside for a small error made in a report has not been witnessed in any period and is also unprecedented in the world. We must expect everything in a country in which the law is exercised so arbitrarily. I am greatly upset.
SEZGİN TANRIKULU: I have become lost for words. History has not chronicled such a period in which the judiciary has become a spent force and destroys itself day by day.
Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions Press Union: The seven-day arrest period handed down to our member Oğuz Güven was a punishment without a court decision. The judiciary has overstepped its own bounds. This is not the end of the matter. We are witnesses to Oğuz Güven’s journalism.
Journalists' Union of Turkey: Oğuz Güven’s detention is intimidation for all the media.
Contemporary Journalists Association: Oğuz Güven has been detained simply for carrying out journalism. Let Oğuz Güven be released!
MELDA ONUR: You will find the predicate ‘mowed down’ with reference to road accidents in all newspaper archives. But the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation rap they are trying to mow down Güven with will not stick!
ZEYNEP ALTIOK AKATLI: Among all this depravity, Oğuz Güven has been detained for a headline that was not even live for one minute. We will not surrender to depravity.
AYŞENUR ARSLAN: Oğuz Güven being detained for a single headline. I am lost even for a 140-character comment.
ALPER TAŞ: You may not care for journalists’ headlines, you may find them to be wrong, but you cannot detain a journalist for a headline.
NO DIRT STICKS TO CUMHURİYET
CHP Group Deputy Chair Özgür Özel: In a state of emergency period, we are living through events that surpass despotism let alone dictatorship. With, on the one hand, an army of trolls of doubtful identity constantly badmouthing the country’s values and founders and doing so with immunity, and, on the other, the Tweets and articles of people who express their opinions undergoing pedantic examination in minute detail for faults and being misinterpreted and misconstrued, the attempt is being made to silence one segment of society through arrests and detentions. Cumhuriyet was there under all coups and opposed them. It has never combined with brotherhoods and bands. Those who installed the latter in the state are now trying to wash the dirt and blood on their hands with the shampoo of combatting the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation. They cannot rid themselves of this dirt and blood, but no dirt sticks to Cumhuriyet in this regard.
CHP Deputy General Chair Tekin Bingöl: A concrete indicator of the state democracy has fallen into in Turkey. Pro-regime circles write what they please and do not suffer this treatment. With Cumhuriyet newspaper’s columnists not being brought before the courts, they have no tolerance for those who are not one of them. When democracy is installed in Turkey, such ugly practices will come to an end.