Turkish police raid printing house, erase unpublished book
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 3/24/2011 12:00:00 AM | ÖZGÜR ÖĞRET
Istanbul police have raided a printing house in search of computer files containing an unpublished book by an arrested suspect in the Ergenekon coup-plot case.
Istanbul police raided a printing house Wednesday evening in search of computer files containing an unpublished book by an arrested suspect in the Ergenekon coup-plot case and erased the digital draft.
The printing house, İthaki, was the publisher that owned the rights to “İmamın Ordusu” (The Army of the Imam), an unpublished book by journalist Ahmet Şık, who was arrested two weeks ago. The book was found in digital form on a computer at the office of the dissident online news portal OdaTV; Şık has stated he did not know how it got there, calling the staff of the website people he would not stand together with in any case.
Şık’s arrest has been criticized in legal circles since the evidence against him was not revealed to his lawyers.
His unpublished book deals with the alleged organization founded within the Turkish police by the Fethullah Gülen religious community. This fact has led to suspicions that Şık was arrested due to the book’s contents, rather than his involvement in the alleged Ergenekon gang, which he has worked as a journalist to expose.
Ergenekon Prosecutor Zekeriya Öz said Şık was not arrested due to his book.
After raiding the printing house, the police erased the digital copy of the book found there and continued their search for other digital copies. Şık’s wife, Yonca Şık, was told by the police Thursday that she and any other parties who have a digital copy must turn them in or they would be accused of “aiding a criminal organization.”
The prosecution also asked for the copies in his lawyers’ possession, prompting questions about how they will be able to come up with a defense. Lawyer Tora Pekin told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Thursday that they thought things could not get any stranger after the evidence against Şık was declared secret but the latest incident showed “there is still a considerable distance to be covered.”
Intervening in a book before it is published is unlawful even if it contains illegal material, because it is akin to arresting someone before a crime is committed, Pekin said. “The next stage is to perform a lobotomy on Ahmet Şık’s brain,” the lawyer added.
Ergenekon is an alleged ultranationalist, shadowy gang accused of planning to topple the government by staging a coup, initially by spreading chaos and mayhem. Some believe it to be an extension of the “deep state,” an alleged shadow organization of bureaucracy and military within the state whose existence was voiced by people including presidents but for which an exact definition has never been made.