Journalists at Çağlayan say of Ahmet Şık: Had the coup happened he would still have been detained

Our reporter Şık, who has been remanded in custody charged with making FETO and PKK propaganda, is appearing before a judge today in the Odatv trial, now exposed as a FETO conspiracy.

15 Şubat 2017 Çarşamba, 17:18
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Our reporter Şık, who has been remanded in custody charged with making FETO and PKK propaganda, is appearing before a judge today in the Odatv trial, now exposed as a FETO conspiracy.

Before the Odatv trial, a press statement concerning Ahmet Şık was made in front of the Istanbul Judicial Complex in Çağlayan.


‘HAD THE GULENIST COUP BEEN PULLED OFF, AHMET WOULD STILL HAVE BEEN THROWN IN JAIL’

The CHP members of parliament, İlhan Cihaner, Sezgin Tanrıkulu and Mahmut Tanal, the ÖDP’s Chairs’ Council member Alper Taş, the HTKP General Chair Erkan Baş, Red Cat Publishing House proprietor Haluk Hepkon and Berkin Elvan’s mother and father, Gülsüm Elvan and Sami Elvan put their names the statement along with many journalists. Our paper’s columnist Özgür Mumcu read the statement.

Mumcu said, ‘Had the Gulenist coup been pulled off, Ahmet would still have been thrown in jail. Journalism is not a crime. We will touch even if we get burnt’

The statement read as follows:

“Today is an ordinary day for Turkey.

Journalists are being tried at Istanbul Judicial Complex. Just like yesterday, like the day before yesterday. In fact, like last year or the year before last.

Judgment will be passed today in the Odatv trial. The prosecutor has called for all the defendants on trial in the Odatv trial, which he has called a ‘conspiracy’, to be acquitted.

The description of the Odatv trial as a ‘conspiracy,’ in common with all the trials contrived by the structure then known as the Gülen Brotherhood and now as the FETO, is a just and legitimate description for us journalists.

For, on that day thinking, inquiring and criticising journalists were detained on the basis of evidence created through virus programs loaded onto computers so as to intimidate other journalists and instil fear in them.

The message was clear: Do not write, criticise or inquire.

And today? Is today different from that day? Is the AKP government, which holds the Gülen Brotherhood/FETO responsible for the things done that day, acting differently today?

Can we say that there is press freedom and freedom of expression today in Turkey, that we live in a country where all is rosy?

Most certainly not.

The Reporters Without Borders Organisation says that Turkey today is the world’s biggest prison for journalists.

Is this a lie? No.

Today, in Turkey there are more than 140 remanded and convicted journalists. 58 newspapers, 28 TV stations, 34 radio stations and 5 news agencies have been closed. Nearly 1,000 journalists have had their press cards revoked. An operation has been staged against Cumhuriyet newspaper.

The government says this is being done to fight the FETO, which staged the 15 July coup. So, where is Ahmet Şık, who laid bare the Gülen Brotherhood that it calls the FETO?

Where is Ahmet Şık, who wrote about Fethullah’s followers infiltrating the state to its very nerve ends when the government and Gülen Brotherhood were walking arm in arm, and was thrown in jail for writing about it?

We all know that Ahmet Şık is back in jail. Why is he in jail? According to the prosecutor, he made FETO/PYD and PKK propaganda.

Nobody who has a degree of conscience and is informed by a modicum of a sense of justice can accept that accusation. They do not. We journalists and our people bear witness that Ahmet Şık would have been the first journalist to have been thrown inside if Fethullah’s followers had pulled off their coup.

Today yet another trial will be heard here.

A group of journalists will be tried there who ran the headline ‘They were not remanded for journalism’ when Ahmet Şık was remanded. The journalists who were not ashamed to run that headline on that day are now on trial. We do not know if they are sorry now. But they are on trial. We most certainly support their being given a free trial, too. It is equally our duty to support Taraf staff receiving a fair trial.

Journalism is a serious business.

It calls for being principled, high-moralled and brave.  We are of the opinion that journalism which calls the bent bent and the straight straight is valuable. Journalism does not mean being the spokespeople or apparatus of rulers of all kinds, but holding those rulers to account.

Journalism is the search for truth. It is running after that truth. And we are here today in search of the truth and justice.

If Ahmet Şık, Kadri Gürsel, Murat Sabuncu, Güray Öz and Tunca Öğreten are in prison today, and if the duty editorial managers in solidarity with Özgür Gündem are being tried and penalised, it is impossible to speak of press freedom in Turkey.

That intimidation which at that time the Gulenists were wreaking on journalists through the Odatv trial is continuing today in another form.

But, we will not surrender to the climate of fear.

We will continue to conduct journalism.

Journalism is not a crime.

Journalists should be released immediately and tried without being held on remand.’

WE WILL TOUCH EVEN IF WE GET BURNT

Our paper’s reporter Ahmet Şık, who has been remanded in custody charged with making FETO/PDY and PKK propaganda in his reports and Twitter posts, is appearing today in the Odatv trial. Şık’s journalist colleagues, who called on people to assemble at Çağlayan at 09.30 for the hearing set to start at 10.00, have produced three videos and have said, ‘The Odatv trial is ending but the conspiracy continues. We have not and will not remain silent! Ahmet will walk out and will write again!’

Our paper’s reporter Ahmet Şık, who is being held on remand in Silivri Prison, will appear in the Odatv trial being heard before Istanbul Serious Crime Court No 18. The single complainant in the trial, which is expected to move to the judgment at the hearing, is journalist Nazlı Ilıcak, who has been remanded on FETO charges.

At the 14 December 2016 hearing of the Odatv trial, prosecutor Ali Kaya called in his one-page written opinion on the file that runs to ten thousand pages including annexes for all defendants to be acquitted of the charge of membership of the organisation named ‘Ergenekon’, and did not name Ahmet Şık, Barış Pehlivan, Barış Terkoğlu and Nedim Şener, at one time on remand pending trial, in the opinion. The charged journalists and their counsel stated that they disagreed with the one-page written opinion and requested time to study the opinion. Ahmet Şık attended the hearing on that date as a defendant on pretrial release. Şık will attend today’s hearing where he stands charged with Ergenekon membership as a journalist who is on remand charged with making FETO/PDY and PKK propaganda.

My lawyers are in jail

Şık made the following comments at the 14 December hearing: ‘I do not want this trial to close with a judgment that is as simple as you make it out to be. A little earlier, you read the names of my lawyers who are not in the courtroom. While my lawyers Bülent Utku and Akın Atalay should be here to perform their defence duties in this conspiracy trial, they are currently in jail under another conspiracy. We were jailed under conspiracies that formed part of the writing of a false history and under the Gülen Brotherhood’s and the AKP’s rule and partnership in crime. Those lawyers who were attempting to rescue me from those cells now stand charged of being Gulenists and have been placed in the same cells as my journalist colleagues who opposed the Gulenist’s AKP-supported conspiracies.’

Sixteen days later

It was a mere 16 days after this defence of his that Şık was put in the same prison as his lawyers, charged with the same offences of which his lawyers are accused.