Can Dündar, Aslı Erdoğan, Necmiye Alpay blast Cumhuriyet raids, detentions
ISTANBULAuthors Can Dündar and Aslı Erdoğan and linguist Necmiye Alpay have slammed the detention of executives and columnists from the critical daily newspaper Cumhuriyet.
Dündar, who until recently was Cumhuriyet’s editor-in-chief, said Europe had to decide whether to take a principled stand over the situation in Turkey.
“Europe must make a decision: Does it want to see Turkey as an oppressive regime in the Middle East or as a democratic, secular, free country?” Dündar told Deutsche Welle Turkish, questioning whether the refugee deal signed between Brussels and Ankara had “blinded Europe.”
“They are not only trying to clear up one newspaper, but the whole profession. They are trying to deprive us of the right to know the truth,” he added.
Novelist Aslı Erdoğan also sent a letter of support to the paper from the jail where she is currently serving a prison sentence.
“They are disregarding everything and everybody in order to say, ‘We are a police state.’ They are disregarding all the values that were formed through years of blood: Democracy, human rights, freedom of thought and expression, and above all, the right to live,” wrote Erdoğan, who was arrested on Aug. 16 and remains in jail pending trial for writing articles for daily Özgür Gündem, which the government says has ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Turkish linguist and author Necmiye Alpay, who was also arrested on Aug. 31 on terror charges as a part of the ongoing investigation into Özgür Gündem, also wrote a letter of support from jail for Cumhuriyet and all its employees.