‘Guards of hope’ support arrested Turkish journalists at gates of Istanbul prison
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
DHA photoThe “guard duty” established by Press Council High Commission member Doğan Satmış and daily Cumhuriyet editorial consultant Mete Akyol in support of arrested Cumhuriyet journalists, at the gates of the prison where they are being held, continued into its fourth day on Dec. 6.
Prominent Turkish journalist Umut Babahan was present at jail and demanded freedom for Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gül, who were arrested on Nov. 26 for their report on weapons-filled Turkish intelligence trucks bound for Syria in early 2014.
“I call on all my colleagues to support this action, to bring the issue forward, and to invite them to struggle for the freedom of all our friends,” Babahan said.
On the third day of the watch, Nükhet İpekçi İzet, the daughter of assassinated journalist Abdi İpekçi and Günel Cantak, also expressed her solidarity with Dündar and Gül.
“I’m here because I believe in the innocence of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül with all my heart, mind and power,” İzet said, adding that her father would also be there if he were alive.
The guard duty began with Akyol on Dec. 2 and Satmış took it over on the second day.
The protest is expected to continue with support of the Press Council, according to Doğan Satmış.
“Children of journalists who have lost their lives have called the Press Council to say ‘our parents would join you if they were alive.’ So the act continues with their support as well,” Satmış told reporters during his watch.
He also urged that arrest pending trial of journalists for doing their jobs should be ended, describing arrest as a threat against other journalists.
“This must be stopped. Otherwise, Turkey will not be able to rise from its status as the bottom country in the list of freedom of press across the globe. Journalism is only a profession, nothing more,” Satmış said.