Lawyers of Cumhuriyet journalists object to arrest decision

Lawyers of Cumhuriyet journalists object to arrest decision

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Lawyers of Cumhuriyet journalists object to arrest decision

Members of journalism unions shout slogans and hold placards "reading: Freedom for journalist" on November 29, 2015 in Istanbul, during a demonstration after the arrest of their Editor in Chief. AFP Photo

The lawyers of daily Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar and Ankara Bureau Chief Erdem Gül have objected to the recent court decision to arrest them pending trial over a report about Turkish intelligence trucks bound for Syria. 

The lawyers of Dündar and Gül arrived at Istanbul’s Çağlayan courthouse early on Nov. 30 to file the objection.

“We are fulfilling our duty and objecting to the ruling that is in violation of Turkey’s constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights, and rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. The rest is up to you. The decision and the responsibility lie with you,” read the three-sentence objection. 

On Nov. 29, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also commented on the arrests en route to Brussels for the EU-Turkey Summit, saying they were “unnecessary.”

“I believe it is right to order release pending trial, apart from in exceptional cases,” he said, while stressing that revealing state secrets “is a crime everywhere in the world.”

Dündar and Gül were arrested on charges of collecting and revealing secret documents for espionage and supporting an armed terrorist organization. The accusations were based on reports in Cumhuriyet regarding Syria-bound trucks sent by the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) and halted for inspection by police in January 2014.

“By publishing fabricated footage and information that were leaked to him by the parallel organization, [Dündar] participated in the actions of the organization’s members who searched the trucks and plotted with fabricated evidence to create a perception … that the Republic of Turkey [was] helping terrorist organizations,” the complaint against Dündar and Gül stated.