Turkish daily Sabah files suit against columnist

Turkish daily Sabah files suit against columnist

Turkish daily Sabah has filed a compensation lawsuit worth 50,000 Turkish Liras against prominent journalist Cengiz Çandar for his views expressed on international web page Al-Monitor on press freedom in Turkey.

Çandar’s definition of daily Sabah in his piece, “Sabah, the biggest daily controlled by the state,” spurred the daily to file the complaint, Çandar wrote yesterday in his column in daily Radikal.
The daily Sabah’s accusations during the Gezi Park unrest against the columnists writing for Al-Monitor moved Çandar to write a column on press freedom in Turkey for Al-Monitor, which was published on July 5.

“Al-Monitor has been hit by its share of the defamation campaign. Of course, along with Al-Monitor, those who regularly write for it from Turkey are also targeted, with my own name at the top of the list. [...] one of the media organs under government control decided Al-Monitor also belonged there. A website called Medyagundem said to be under the supervision of Sabah, the biggest daily controlled by the state, accused Al-Monitor on June 28 of being a “subcontractor of the Zionist lobby.” Çandar wrote July 5. Medyagundem, linked to the daily Sabah, had accused Al-Monitor of being “a Zionist media.”

“There is a website called Al-Monitor... Obviously, it is a costly operation. You can find local language articles in English on this site. Its selection of news and articles is meticulously made and is highly professional. Its main theme is the news and analysis that will serve the interests of Israel and the global Zionist network... Works of anyone who is a sworn enemy of Islamists and conservative administrations and actors are translated immediately into English... Some of its Turkish writers are interesting. This team that complains about their own country to the West in an Islamophobic, Zionist media organ has not come together by coincidence ...”

Çandar said compensation cases were the new method of those who are seeking new ways to repress the opposition in Turkey.