‘30-step’ Istanbul demonstration protests arrest of Cumhuriyet journalists
Cihan PhotosHundreds of lawmakers and journalists staged a ‘30-step march’ in Istanbul on Dec. 26 to protest the arrest of daily Cumhuriyet journalists over a story on state-owned trucks purportedly carrying arms to militants in Syria on the 30th day of their arrest.
The group gathered at Tünel Square in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district and marched 30 steps in protest, as Dec. 26 marked the 30th day of arrest for daily Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gül, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Chanting the slogan “journalism cannot be tried” to emphasize the current state of journalism in Turkey, the group said all journalists imprisoned over their coverage should be freed, waving placards reading “freedom to jailed journalists” and “no matter what, we will do our job.”
Wives of Dündar and Gül, Dilek Dündar and Aslı Gül, read out letters the prominent journalists have written since they were imprisoned on Nov. 26, during the demonstration in which the journalists’ Cumhuriyet colleagues also took part in.
Among the participants were Republican People’s Party (CHP) Secretary General Gürsel Tekin, CHP deputy head Sezgin Tanrıkulu and CHP Istanbul MP Barış Yarkadaş.
Delivering a press statement on behalf of the group, Karan reiterated the mass demand that Dündar and Gül be tried without arrest and that all jailed journalists should be freed.
Dündar and Gül were arrested on Nov. 26 over a story on Syria-bound state trucks allegedly carrying weapons to fighters in Syria. The trucks were reported to be owned by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), Turkey’s intelligence organization, when the story was published in daily Cumhuriyet in early January.