Journalism is not a crime
Speaking their final words, our columnists and managers said, “We Cumhuriyet staffers will never give up resisting evil.”
Our columnists and managers, speaking their final words at the second session of the trial’s eighth hearing, said that journalism is being prosecuted in this trial and journalism is not a crime. Our columnists and managers’ final words were as follow:
ORHAN ERİNÇ: I will say my final words for my lawyers. I thank them greatly.
AKIN ATALAY: We will expend all effort to prevent evil from becoming commonplace in this society. We once more publicly state and undertake this from here. Regardless of what the bench’s ruling is, we want it to be known that Cumhuriyet newspaper and we Cumhuriyet staffers will never give up resisting evil, because this is the thing that gives meaning to our lives.
MURAT SABUNCU: Freedom is a really wonderful thing and one realises its value on losing it. Both Cumhuriyet newspaper and journalists tell the truth under all circumstances and we have always done so. Journalism is not a crime.
HİKMET ÇETİNKAYA: I wrote for years in Cumhuriyet newspaper about who Fethullah Gülen was and his aims. I am accused of aiding Gülen and I reject all of this. Journalism is not a crime. The basic crime is the desire to establish a Sharia order.
GÜRAY ÖZ: Journalism is being prosecuted in this trial, which is no easy task. Accusing Cumhuriyet newspaper of involvement with terrorist organisations and FETO is to mock people’s intelligence. I hope you will not do this because it does not become enlightened people.
TURHAN GÜNAY: Journalism is not a crime.
MUSA KART: Months and years have been stolen from our lives through this trial. But they have been unable to steal our hope in our country.
KADRİ GÜRSEL: We have been detained for being journalists. A useless, empty and unfounded indictment appeared before us. Lengthy detention turned into a sentence. Our right to a fair trial was violated. I defended my profession in my defence and replied to the charges which in my view are nonsense. Now, you will pass a difficult decision, because you will rule looking at files which are absolutely devoid of evidence. Which means that you will seek refuge in your minds and consciences as you rule. I have conviction that this is what you will do and I do not want this conviction of mine to make me sorry. We will leave from here with our heads held high and continue to carry out our profession. I seek my acquittal and that of all my colleagues.
AYDIN ENGİN: You told me I had the spirit of James Bond in me and I took this as a courtesy. But, I thought that he works for her majesty and I work for the people. The people’s freedom to obtain news is on trial here. What falls to you is to defend the people’s right to obtain news, this is a tough job and I will be unable to help you and you will do it on your own. So long.
AHMET ŞIK: I start by saying this is just the beginning. The aim of this conspiracy hatched by a gang consisting of certain people from politics, the civil service and the media has been clear from the outset. Let me then give the reply that this gang and those of their ilk deserve in repetition of what I have said since the first day on behalf of those who for their entire lives have stood up against lawlessness and rights violations: You are the ones who should hand yourselves in.
MUSTAFA KEMAL GÜNGÖR: End this injustice that has been going on for months. Montesquieu says, “An injustice done to one person is a threat made to the whole of society.” This means that there is nothing in a country where there is no justice.
EMRE İPER: Şık Veysel said my final words: “There is not truth but freedom on this road.”
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