We owe a debt of justice to daily Cumhuriyet: Istanbul bar head Durakoğlu
“We owe a debt of justice to daily Cumhuriyet and I want this debt to be paid on March 9,” Durakoğlu said in an interview published by Cumhuriyet on March 4.
Some daily Cumhuriyet staff members are still in prison, including prominent journalist Ahmet Şık, editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu and CEO Akın Atalay, with the next hearing in the trial scheduled for March 9 in Silivri district of Istanbul.
The Cumhuriyet journalists are charged with supporting three outlawed groups through their media coverage, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
Durakoğlu said the Cumhuriyet trial would leave its mark on history as a case in which “the political aspect dominates the legal aspect.”
“I have been in this field for 35 years and this is the first time I have witnessed a situation in which the editorial policy of a newspaper has become the basis of a trial. This is not acceptable,” Durakoğlu said.
“I hope March 9 will open a door to change, and this change will not only affect the Cumhuriyet trial, but will also influence other cases in Turkey. Such a change could have a remarkable impact on the rule of law,” he added.
He said he would be present in Silivri to witness the hearing of the Cumhuriyet trial.
When asked about the aggravated life sentences handed to prominent journalists Nazlı Ilıcak, Ahmet Altan and his younger brother Mehmet Altan, Durakoğlu said he thought the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) would reverse the ruling.