CHP deputy reads out jailed Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief’s message in parliament
ANKARAMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Barış Yarkadaş read out a message from daily Cumhuriyet’s imprisoned editor-in-chief, Murat Sabuncu, in parliament’s general assembly on Dec. 6.
“We are journalists. The fact that we are in prison doesn’t change that truth. We are continuing our journalistic activities inside prison,” Sabuncu wrote in the letter he sent, read by Yarkadaş.
“The topic of this week was the children we lost in Aladağ [in the southern province of] Adana,” Sabuncu added, referring to the recent deadly fire that erupted in a school girls’ dormitory.
“A terrible disaster takes place. Twelve children are killed and 22 are injured, with those injured children left cold in the beds where they lay for treatment. It is understood from the footage on TV that we can’t even manage to heat those places properly. The children are wearing berets because they are cold. The press exists to voice those truths,” he said.
Sabuncu also noted that as imprisoned journalists they have no “special demands” and the situation of Cumhuriyet journalists is not unique.
“But none of us are free when imprisoned journalists are not free,” he added.
Cumhuriyet journalists Sabuncu, Turhan Günay, Kadri Gürsel, Önder Çelik, Musa Kart, Güray Öz, Bülent Utku, M. Kemal Güngör, Hakan Kara and Akın Atalay were arrested after a major operation on Oct. 31 for their columns and news stories on charges of “acting on behalf of terror organizations without being a member.” The “terror” organizations referred to in the charges are the Gülen movement, widely believed to be behind the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).