Hamzaçebi, Oran and Doğan pointed out that Akın Atalay’s continued detention was an unlawful act. Doğan said, “Atalay is being kept behind bars on strange grounds. The captain’s ship is not prison but his newspaper.”
Solidarity visits continue to our newspaper following the release of our Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu and reporter Ahmet Şık.
CHP General Secretary Akif Hamzaçebi came to our head office building in Şişli yesterday and spoke with our Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu. Hamzaçebi said that Sabuncu and our reporter Ahmet Şık attaining their freedom was a source of happiness. Hamzaçebi, noting that our newspaper’s Executive Board Chair Akın Atalay was still inside, commented, “We will be even happier when the other journalists who are in detention for their thoughts are released, too. The Cumhuriyet trial is not a commonplace trial. This trial is a trial aimed at taking surrender ofand silencing Cumhuriyet newspaper. It has been an unjust trial from the outset. It is a disgrace to democracy. Had this newspaper been silenced, an important place that defends democracy and secularism would have been silenced. They were and will be unable to succeed. Regardless of the outcome of this trial, one day democracy in Turkey will make a very strong comeback. We are fighting for this. For as long as Cumhuriyet newspaper stays alive in Turkey, everything will be fine.”
Atalay being held hostage
Former CHP MP Umut Oran, noting that Akın Atalay was being held hostage, commented, “In wishing you a speedy recovery, these are bittersweet wishes. They remained in detention unjustly and unlawfully for nearly 500 days. How can recompense be made for this? This is truly not a situation that inspires joy. When we think how important a day or even an hour is in life, holding these people hostage for 500 days is something incompatible with either human rights, democracy or press freedom. It is a worrying situation for Turkey. With the world at large contemplating going to Mars, three-dimensional printers and things that will extend human life, it is an unacceptable thing for Turkey to be rapidly dragged into the Middle Ages. We know that this trial is a political trial. No crime is involved but there are punishments and extrajudicial sentences. This is a process in which journalism and democracy is on trial. Our entire efforts are to normalise this process and to be able to transport Turkey from darkness into enlightenment and from reaction to progressiveness. We are fighting for this.”
Journalist Yalçın Doğan, in turn, commented, “This is a trial that has long since collapsed. It is still continuing. Akın Atalay is being held behind bars on the strange grounds that “the captain leaves the ship last.” The captain’s ship is Cumhuriyet newspaper not prison. That sentence is not a particularly meaningful sentence. What everyone asserts and concurs with is that they stood tall and honourably in prison. The brought a collapsed trial to the attention of both Turkey and the world with their defences, the legal proceedings and their demeanour. Akın is behind bars and we are filled with bittersweet joy.”