Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief takes ‘leave of absence’
ISTANBULDaily Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar has announced his decision to take a prolonged leave of absence, as the newspaper’s editorial board witnessed a major shift, while the executive board insisted Dündar’s vacation was a result of “fatigue.”
“Dear friends, for the past year, I have dealt with accusations, threats, trials, imprisonments, shots, testimonies, defenses and insults while trying to do my job at the newspaper,” Dündar said in an in-house announcement, adding he did not take a vacation day during this period.
“While my passion for journalism and determination to report did not subside one bit, I feel I grew physically and spiritually tired,” he added.
Dündar said he would spend the rest of the summer in a quiet corner of the world where he would plan his future.
“Through this period, I turn over all my administrative/editorial authorities to the executive board of the Cumhuriyet Foundation,” he stated.
Cumhuriyet Foundation Chief Executive Officer Akın Atalay confirmed reports of Dündar’s leave and dismissed claims that he resigned, underlining that the editor-in-chief planned this six- to eight-week vacation soon after he escaped an armed attack in front of Istanbul’s Çağlayan Court House on May 6.
“Hence, those who seek different meanings in Can Dündar’s holiday plans are announcing this leave of absence with vague titles, saying [Dündar] ‘temporarily left.’ Can Dündar continues his work as the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet newspaper,” Atalay said in a statement.
He also confirmed that a number of editors, who were brought in via the daily’s deputy editor-in-chief, Tahir Yurtseven, resigned the same day.
“We are respectful towards the decision of a number of our friends, who have joined the Cumhuriyet family over the past year, to resign,” Atalay said, stressing the resignation of some editors did not mean the daily was going through a crisis.
In a similar vein, Dündar clarified the situation in a tweet, saying “friends should not be sad and enemies should not rejoice.”