Everything you want to know about Nedim
If you are interested in how a journalist works who both has a reporter’s job at a daily newspaper and is a co-host of a popular news show on TV, I would suggest you take a glance at folder number 22 in the annexes of the indictment of the Oda TV case.
In this folder, there are transcripts of 266 separate phone conversations by Nedim Şener, under arrest for almost seven months in Silivri, near Istanbul. The phone was tapped between May 23, 2009 and Nov. 20, 2009 permitted by a court decision. In addition to these, there are also five more records dating to a period shortly before his arrest.
His news sources publicized
When you read these conversations, you learn a great deal about the identities of his news sources. You are able to find answers to several questions, such as who does a journalist call to obtain information, who does he ask for reports, who does he consult, and also who calls to inform him.
As minutes proceed, you start getting to know Şener and how his mind works. Within this context, you learn how he was closely interested in the course of Hrant Dink case, how he was monitoring the course of investigations regarding the police and how he evaluated the factions within the police. While you are reading the minutes, you live one day together with him. For example when he is called by NTV to participate in a live broadcast over the phone, what he said on TV appears as a full script in the records.
You get to know those who call him. There are those who call to congratulate him when he received an award, those who call him to ask about a story or those who call him just to say “hello.” All of them were caught in the tapping net.
Who are these girls?
The most colorful portions of the conversations are those among colleagues. In this context, you get to know several features of not only Nedim Şener but the third persons who talk to him.
The details in these records include that the Dutch ambassador visits him to be informed about the Dink murder and that lawyer Şehnaz Doğan Yüzer sends a file to him. But the most striking truth of all the records is that Şener was talking on the phone knowing that he was being tapped. The most vibrant record must be the one with his friend Çetin Alkan on June 6, 2006, when they were planning a vacation together. While Şener is shutting the phone down, he says, “Let’s talk to the girls, and Alkan answers, “Ok, ok.” The next record shows that Şener phones Alkan immediately after he hangs up and this conversation occurs:
Nedim Şener: “This call is for tap records. I said girls, they should not misunderstand, I meant our wives when I said girls.”
Çetin: “Ok. Bye, bye.”
Şener speaks with his colleagues most of the time. He speaks to Uğur Dündar, who hosts the show Arena, 39 times. He speaks to Cüneyt Özdemir seven times and to Yalçın Bayer four times. Other journalists recorded in the tap include Haluk Şahin, Yavuz Baydar, Sedat Ergin, Nail Güreli, Belma Akçura and Erbil Tuşalp.
Meanwhile, there are serious mistakes in the script. For example, in conversations with Yalçın Bayer, “the other person” has been written as Yalçın Doğan.
When there is no elimination
I spent most of Tuesday reading these records that have now become public information. Among those that I have read, there were conversations that Şener had with those persons who are also suspects in the Oda TV case and hence could constitute as evidence, but I can easily say that a large portion of the 271 minutes that were annexed to the indictment have nothing to do with the investigation.
Well then, as an ordinary citizen, do I have a right to enter an area of another citizen’s private life as such?
Does the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey not protect a citizen of this country, Nedim Şener’s freedom of communication and privacy of his private life?
Is there not a problem, let alone a rule of law, a conscientious problem at least, for a person who is already deprived of his freedom for seven months, and as if that was not enough, this time has his whole life exposed too?