Τρεις δημοσιογράφοι του ειδησεογραφικού ομίλου FEZA (Zaman και Today’s Zaman) γράφουν για τη δικαστική επιμελητεία των εφημερίδων και την έφοδο των αστυνομικών δυνάμεων στο κτίριο των εφημερίδων στην Κωνσταντινούπολη.
Abdullah Bozkurt (Διευθυντής Σύνταξης της Today’s Zaman στην Άγκυρα)
Expose on gov’t dirt no more in Turkey!
In 2010, Zaman had extensively covered a shocking plan cooked up by a junta in Turkish military back in 2007 in the days leading upto national elections. The plan, uncovered in court documents and later in whistleblower accounts in Parliamentary investigation commission, saw an escalation of the crisis with Greece by provoking conflict in the air, at sea and on land borders.
It was even envisaged sacrificing a Turkish F-16 jet in a close encounter with Greek one to bring Turkey to the brink of war with Greece and embarrass the government in Ankara. Using the false flag incident, the junta was hoping to stage a coup in Turkey and topple the civilian government.
Zaman’s exposure had helped the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) government survive the sinister plots by military junta. Ironically, the same government has now unlawfully taken over Zaman on charges of involving efforts to topple the government by publications that deemed critical of the government. That gives a new definition of the coup in the world for the first time I suppose.
Fabricated charges leveled against Zaman and its violent take over by police that stormed our newsrooms with no regard to the rule of law, a due process, are aimed to muzzle the country’s largest independent and critical voice. Turkey’s autocratic president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is determined to transform Turkey into a sanctuary for all kind of radical religious groups and see the media as a major hindrance before the completion of that project.
Just two days after Zaman was taken over by hundreds of police officers, Hizb ut Tahrir, listed as an outlawed radical group in Turkey just like in many countries, held a major ‘International Caliphate Conference’ in the heart of Turkish capital, Ankara. The event attracted by some 5000 people and leading Hizb ut Tahrir figures from all over the world. Most people in Turkey never heard about it because the media was muzzled and intimidated.
With Zaman out of the way, Turkey’s Islamist government will proceed as it pleases without much scrutiny from the independent and critical media, or what is left of it anyway. Greece, as neighbor to Turkey, will surely face the negative spillover from this transformation that takes place in its eastern neighbor. No doubt, gloomy days lie ahead for Turkey as well as its neighbors, partners and allies.
Sevgi Akarcesme (Διευθύντρια της TOSAY’S ZAMAN)
My news paper Today’s Zaman, which is part of Zaman media group, has been brutally taken over by the government on March 4 in a police raid. The police physically obstructed me when they stormed the building. The police grabbed my phone away while I was broadcasting the incident on Periscope. They removed me by force from the executive floor. Even before the take over, I was among the journalists who were sued by Erdoğan and the Prime Minister Davutoglu for allegedly insulting them. I received suspended imprisonment.
In addition to the latest seizure, Zaman had been subjected to a crackdown on December 14 and its former editor in chief Mr. Dumanlı was detained.
Pro-government ‘hit-men’ have been targeting Zaman and encouraging its seizure for a long time. Currently, Zaman media group, including my paper Today’s Zaman has been accused of aiding terrorist propaganda and aiding terrorist organization.
Zaman’s seizure is the last straw Erdoğan’s clear violation of the constitution. There is almost no critical media outlet is left in the country after this take over. Democracy is suspended in Turkey since there is no media freedom left.
Mustafa Edib (Συντάκτης της ΖΑΜΑΝ)
Violence: Erdogan’s favorite toy
In the summer of 2013, when the youngsters took to the streets to protest then Prime Minister Erdogan, police response was very violent. Eight of them were killed with nearly 5 thousand more got arrested after having been inhumanely manhandled. And when on night of March 4th the police stormed the country’s best-selling newspaper Zaman, highly critical of now President Erdogan, its readers were subjected to nothing less in terms of police’s use of excessive force. The message now and then was clear: You better stay home. That is evident. However there are a few more reasons why Erdogan orders violence on whomever dares to stand up against his authoritarian rule.
First, there is too much that he should keep under the rug. Internationally-sanctioned activities in and through Syria, incredible levels of corruption, nepotism, intervention in judicial processes, discrimination of many types at all levels of government etc… Therefore, he thinks that once he starts compromising he will not be able to stop until he steps down. He must continue being a maximalist.
Also, he is not unchallenged within his own party. There are at least a dozen key figures of his rule including former President Gul and former Parliament Spokesperson Arinc who have come out with increasingly more open criticism against him. Now, he realizes that the best way to intimidate all possible internal opposition is making an example out of external opposition with reckless use of force. Every bit of violence directed against people on the streets is also a covert message to his doubtful compatriots: Don’t even think about it or else…
Last but not least, Erdogan has always cherished a strongman leadership. If one group ever achieves its goal on the streets, it will be like the first drop of blood from Xerxes I of Persia on the battlefield. He cannot tolerate being taken for less than a ‘divine ruler’.
Brace for more violence in Turkey…