Cumhuriyet is our red line: CHP spokesperson
ANKARAA police operation launched against daily Cumhuriyet on charges of supporting terrorism is “the red line” for the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the main opposition party’s spokesperson has said, claiming the operation was a joint act by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ).
“[The probe on Cumhuriyet daily is] a joint operation of the AKP-FETÖ fraternity. Cumhuriyet is our red line. We will not take any step back, we will not surrender it,” Selin Sayek Böke said Nov. 2 after her party’s central executive board meeting.
“Cumhuriyet is not an ordinary newspaper, it is a monument of the history of the foundation of the young republic and it is a memento of the founder’s will. It is the newspaper of Uğur Mumcu, [Taner] Kışlalı, [Bahriye] Üçok, [the Cumhuriyet journalists who were all assassinated during the 1990s] and İlhan Selçuk. It is a force, of which all putschists would be afraid, and an institution of the republic,” she said.
“Any attack on Cumhuriyet newspaper is an overt attack on our republic. It is not a coincidence that the AKP regime is attacking daily Cumhuriyet. People who believe in progress and who are democrats will not surrender Cumhuriyet to AKP fascism,” Böke said.
Böke slammed the operations, indicating that the probe was launched to obscure the political links of the coup attempt. She reminded that the prosecutor who carried out the Cumhuriyet daily investigation, Murat İnam, was on trial for being a member of FETÖ.
“The Office of the Chief Prosecution had a statement claiming that Cumhuriyet] committed a crime on behalf of FETÖ. But the prosecutor who carried out the investigation was on trial for being a member of FETÖ. He is accused of being a member of FETÖ and of espionage. He is not under arrest but on duty,” she said.
Böke also noted news coverage by Cumhuriyet five days before the operation that disclosed FETÖ links. Cumhuriyet reported on Oct. 26 that the brother of the main prosecutor who is conducting the main investigation into July 15 coup attempt was suspended as part of the Gülenist investigation.
“Five days before the FETÖ fraternity attempt [the operations against the daily], there was a news story. The public prosecutor’s brother was dismissed because of the FETÖ probe. He was accused of being a member of FETÖ. It was Cumhuriyet newspaper which reported the links. They took the most radical step to silence the newspaper which has disclosed the links with FETÖ,” she said.
Cumhuriyet was founded in 1924, a year after the foundation of Turkish Republic, by a confidant of the Kemal Atatürk, Yunus Nadi Abalıoğlu, who was also a CHP deputy.