My position on the journalist-terrorist debate
The debate is the investigations of Hidayet Karaca and Ekrem Dumanlı on charges of being a member of and managing a terrorist organization; while one of them is arrested, the other has been released with a travel ban.
Pro-government sources argue that these gentlemen – they are the leading figures in the pro-Fethullah Gülen Community media – were not being investigated because of their journalistic activities.
Some opinion holders think as such: “They used to defend such things in the past. Now they should know how it feels to suffer from that.”
The Western media and some circles in Turkey say the investigation of these people is essentially a violation of press freedom.
I am defending what I was defending during the Ergenekon investigations and case. I remember what I had written about Ahmet Şık, Nedim Şener, Tuncay Özkan, Soner Yalçın, Mustafa Balbay, Dilek Demiral and many other journalists.
I looked at what the prosecutor asked while he was questioning a defendant whose profession was journalism. If he is asking, “Why did you write this story? Why did you shoot this film? Who told you to write this piece? How did you find out what you wrote?” then my decision is clear: The defendant is being prosecuted because of his/her journalistic activities.
If the prosecutor is holding an investigation based on concrete evidence, then I would wait for the evidence. For example, such a question: “A phone call came from Pennsylvania and you called Murteza immediately. Murteza went and planted a bomb in public toilets in Ulus. What kind of relationship do you have with him?”
I am looking at the leaked information about the interrogation, there is no such question.
There is an accusation of an armed terror organization, but there are no arms and no armed action.
The questions asked are “Why did you write this? Why did you shoot this film?”
I think what is happening to these people is the same as what happened to journalists at the Ergenekon investigation.
I would not think differently for them because they thought and acted differently for others in the past.
These gentlemen, in the past, applauded that some of our colleagues were prisoned for years; they were happy about that. I would not like to be in the same situation now with them; it sounds like a nightmare.
I would want to ask the prosecutor, if the accusation is a terrorist organization, then provide evidence of the actions of the terrorist organization, their weapons and the organizational relations.
Birth control will not cover this
While writing this piece, the Parliamentary Commission researching corruption had not reached a decision yet.
The president made a pre-statement saying, “They said birth control and dried up our generation.” He wanted us to focus on these words, forget the corruption cases, but I think this time, this maneuver will not work.
Of course, there will be fun entries in social media about this, but we have such a file in front of us that, regardless of what the commission decides, we will talk about it for many years.
While the Parliamentary Commission was trying to reach a decision on the corruption files, in Spain, news was coming concerning the princess appearing before court because of corruption. Let us see how the Turkish media will cover the news about this.