Prominent journalist testifies, says ‘we will continue writing’
ISTANBULProminent Turkish journalist Can Dündar was present at the Istanbul Çağlayan Courthouse on Feb. 26 to testify on charges of “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Before entering the courthouse, Dündar dismissed the use of lawsuits as a deterrent against journalists, who he vowed would “not be intimidated and would continue to write.”
Dündar complained that Erdoğan takes every criticism and word said against him as an “insult” and files a lawsuit, saying it was a “kind of deterrence policy.”
“However, you will see there will be nothing to gain from that because we will continue to speak and write. In the meantime, we may be tried or threatened, but we will continue,” he said.
‘We will not turn a blind eye‘
In response to questions about previous cases opened against journalists, Dündar said that whenever media blackouts and censorship are not enough to intimidate journalists, filing a lawsuit is another option.
“I came here to testify because of an interview that I recently conducted regarding the massive corruption case launched in December 2013. We are doing our jobs, so we will not turn a blind eye to one of the biggest corruption cases in Turkey’s history. As journalists, we will continue to write about it on behalf of the public,” he said, before entering the courthouse to testify.
Before he was appointed as editor-in-chief of daily Cumhuriyet earlier this month, Dündar had conducted an interview with Celal Kara, a Turkish prosecutor who had been in charge of the massive corruption investigation targeting several government figures.
A criminal case has been launched into Dündar over remarks in the interview that allegedly “insulted” Erdoğan.
Meanwhile, in other recent cause d’celebre, a former Miss Turkey and the editor of a daily newspaper were targets of a code allowing judicial action to be against people who “insult the president.”
Umut Tepe, an Istanbul prosecutor, demanded four years and eight months in jail for Barış İnce, a chief editor of daily Birgün, for insulting Erdoğan in an apparently acrostic article, the first words of which read “thief Erdoğan.”