Hürriyet issues written statement on Turkish PM’s remarks
Mr. Prime Minister,
You made accusatory statements against Doğan Holding Honorary Chairman Aydın Doğan an the Doğan Group at your electoral rally in Istanbul on March 23. You said there were some blackmailing tapes related to the Doğan Group, claiming that we are conducting our publishing under the threat of those tapes.
We are sure that the Doğan Group, of which Hürriyet is a part, has done nothing it is either hesitant about, fears being publicly known, nor self-incriminating.
You will remember that you spoke of “dirty business” during a conversation with your former justice minister and asked him to "guarantee" that the Doğan Group would be convicted. Whatever that “business” is, it should be immediately handed over to prosecutors - as it should have been already - if they really exist.
We’re repeating this as Hürriyet: If the state or some other circles have anything in their hands to implicate the Doğan Group, or any information or document that can embarrass us, it should be disclosed and legal action should be taken. However, we should note that the act of keeping us under such accusations, as if there is evidence, accords neither with justice nor with conscience.
In contrast to what you said at your electoral rally, we published the news of the deaths of both of our sons, Berkin and Burak, while feeling the same humane sorrow for both in our headlines, and called for public calm the next day.
But we will not make a long list of our news articles and headline stories. The Doğan Group is a media organization with deep-rooted traditions and has an international reputation with its commitment to the universal principles of journalism. It has pulled through great political storms with its honor intact.
Neither the blackmailing of the circles you describe as “parallel,” nor the unfair and inexorable style that you use against us at electoral rallies, can deter us from our publishing principles.
Mr. Prime Minister,
We have never engaged in a political war with our publication and we will never do so. Our commitment is to Turkey, to the rule of law and to democracy. We expect you to not discriminate between citizens and institutions as the prime minister of 76 million people. Whatever percentage of votes you get, it should be your and all of our duty after the elections to defuse the dangerous polarization and tension that has spread throughout the whole country.