Turkish journalists jailed for reporting government-ISIS links

This video from the USA says about itself:

Turkish Government Caught Helping ISIS

29 July 2015

Cenk Uygur (host of The Young Turks) discusses a recent report of Turkish officials helping ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Cenk breaks down the evidence that Turkey turned a blind eye to the vast smuggling networks and may have even cooperated.

If, as this blog said, Tony Blair is figuratively the godfather of ISIS, then these terrorists have various ‘godbrothers’ as well. Including President Erdogan of Turkey.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Turkey: Journalists face jail for revealing Isis backing

Friday 27th November 2015

TWO TURKISH journalists could face jail for exposing government arms smuggling to Islamic State (Isis).

Turkish media reported yesterday that state prosecutor Irfan Fidan requested arrest warrants for Cumhuriyet editor Can Dundar and the newspaper’s Ankara correspondent Erdem Gul following questioning.

Mr Fidan sought to charge the pair with membership of a terror organisation and espionage, which carry sentences of up to 20 years.

Cumhuriyet published images in May of Turkish lorries carrying ammunition to Isis militants.

The images were from January 2014, when local authorities searched Syria-bound vehicles leading to a standoff with Turkish intelligence officials.

44 thoughts on “Turkish journalists jailed for reporting government-ISIS links

  1. Pingback: The Socialist | Turkish journalists jailed for reporting government-ISIS links

  2. Saturday 28th November 2015

    posted by Morning Star in World

    HUNDREDS gathered outside the Istanbul office of opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet yesterday to protest against the arrest of its editor and Ankara correspondent.

    Editor Can Dundar and reporter Erdem Gul are languishing in an Istanbul jail after being arrested on Thursday on charges of espionage and terrorism. Their crime was to publish photos in May of Turkish lorries carrying arms in Syria.

    The images date from January 2014, when border guards discovered the shipment by intelligence agents.

    Opposition Kemalist CHP party MP Baris Yarkadas said: “The government does not want any journalist to see what kind of a calamity they have involved Turkey in.”



  3. Saturday 28th November 2015

    posted by Morning Star in World

    ISLAMIC STATE’S affiliate in Bangladesh claimed responsibility yesterday for a shooting attack on a mosque that left one man dead.

    At least five assailants fired on worshippers during evening prayers on Thursday at the Shi’ite mosque in the village Haripur in the northern Bogra district.

    An elderly man who had been leading the prayers was killed.

    The statement from the Isis affiliate said: “The soldiers of the caliphate targeted a place of worship for the apostates” built with funds from Iran, vowing more such attacks.

    Police were holding two suspects for questioning yesterday.

    Police have also arrested six members of the banned local group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh in connection with the October 24 bombing of a rally of thousands of Shi’ite Muslims in the capital Dhaka that killed one teenager.

    Authorities dismissed Isis claims that it had carried out that attack, saying it had no presence in the country, instead blaming extremist terror group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh.



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  7. Thursday, 3 December 2015


    The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) call on the Turkish authorities to immediately release journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül and to drop all charges against them.

    The two reporters working for the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet were arrested last week in Istanbul following a judicial complaint initiated by president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on charges of ‘procuring information as to state security’, ‘political and military espionage’, ‘publishing confidential information’ and ‘doing propaganda on behalf of a terror organisation’.

    According to media reports, all the charges are related to an article and footage released by Cumhuriyet on 29 May under the headline, ‘Here are the weapons Erdogan claims not to exist.’ The article showed images of the gendarmerie and police officers opening crates on the back of trucks which contained what the newspaper described as weapons and ammunition sent to rebel groups in Syria by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation in January 2014.

    Following the publication of the article, president Erdogan threatened the Cumhuriyet journalists during a live television broadcast that ‘the person who made this special news will heavily pay for it’. In his criminal complaint, the Turkish president is requesting that each journalist be sentenced to one time aggravated life imprisonment, one time life imprisonment and a further 42 years in prison for ‘undermining state interest by using falsified images’.

    In a joint statement, the IFJ and EFJ’s Turkish affiliate Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) and Journalists Association of Turkey (TGC), backed by both Federations, strongly condemned the arrest. In their joint statement the TGS and TGC said: ‘The publication of these articles in question was the duty of journalists towards the public’s right to know. The public’s access to information must be guaranteed and respected.

    ‘Journalists are not supposed to protect and defend state interests; this is the task of state authorities. The arrest of our colleagues Can Dündar and Erdem Gül is a violation of Turkey’s constitution, the media law 5187, the Turkish penal code, the jurisprudence of the Turkish constitutional court and the European Convention on Human Rights.’

    Jim Boumelha, IFJ president, said: ‘We know Can Dündar and the journalists working for Cumhuriyet newspaper well. Dündar was our keynote speaker during our international conference in Istanbul where he described how difficult it is to resist the oppression and never-ending forms of prosecution. We demand the Turkish authorities immediately release Can Dündar and Erdem Gül and drop all charges against them.’

    Mogens Blicher Bjerregard, EFJ president, said: ‘These arrests will certainly be challenged in regard of articles 5 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights but in the meantime we cannot accept the detention of our colleagues in jail. The public’s right to know can only be guaranteed through the freedom of the press.

    ‘This case also raises serious questions about the independence of the judiciary in Turkey. In the wake of the EU-Turkey summit in Brussels, Turkish authorities should correct the situation by releasing immediately our colleagues.’

    The IFJ and EFJ will report this case to the Council of Europe’s platform for the protection and safety of journalists and to the Mapping Media Freedom platform supported by the European Commission.



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  10. Monday, 7 March 2016


    Journalists work with armed police standing over them EMPLOYEES working for Turkey’s Feza Media Group were allowed to enter the Zaman newspaper building in Istanbul at 8am Saturday after an ID check by police, who have been standing guard inside and outside the building since Friday night when trustees took control of the group.

    ‘This is how we, journos, are supposed to do our job. Under special ops standing guard, police inside #Zaman offices,’ Today’s Zaman Ankara representative Abdullah Bozkurt tweeted on Saturday morning with a photo showing police standing guard in the entrance of the building while holding his automatic rifle.

    Police erected fences and were standing watch in front of the headquarters of Turkey’s largest-circulation newspaper, a day after they used tear gas and water cannons to storm the building and enforce a court-ordered seizure.

    An Istanbul court appointed trustees over the Feza Media Group, which includes Zaman newspaper, Today’s Zaman and the Cihan News Agency on Friday amid increasing pressure on critical media groups by the government.

    Reactions have mounted in Turkey against the government-orchestrated move as part of a crackdown on critical and independent media. Turkish police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse crowds protesting outside the headquarters of the opposition Zaman newspaper on Friday.

    In the raid just before midnight, they moved in to secure the premises following a government decision to take over the management of the media group. This came after a day of standoffs between police and opposition protesters furious about a government crackdown on the free press.

    Part of the crowd took cover inside of the building, as riot police moved in on protesters. After clearing their way through the crowd in front of the newspaper’s HQ, the officers pushed their way inside the building. ‘Throw him off the staircase!’ one of the officers allegedly shouted, as the raid squad pushed one of the publication’s employees down to the hall, according to a tweet written by a Zaman employee.

    Zaman Editor-in-Chief Sevgi Akarcesme said that during the raid she was pushed by police as authorities tried to take her out of the building. ‘A police officer grabbed my phone forcefully while I was broadcasting on Periscope. I’ll sue him when the rule of law is back. Unbelievable!’ she tweeted. ‘This is beyond comprehension! Such a sad day in Turkey!’

    The daily confirmed that police had gone to the management floor in the building, and were preventing editors from entering their offices. The journalists were shut out of their offices while police confiscated their cell phones, according to reports on social media.

    The biggest opposition publication is being accused by the state of alleged links to America-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the Erdogan government accuses of attempting to topple the regime.

    The decision by Istanbul 6th Criminal Court of Peace to de facto censor the publication was granted after the request of the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, that accused the publication of taking orders from what it called the ‘Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation/Parallel State Structure (FETO/PDY)’.

    The prosecutor said that the alleged terrorist group is working together with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) with the aim of toppling the Turkish government. To remedy the so-called ‘terrorist threat’, the court ruled to sack the entire management and the editorial team of Feza Media Group companies and to replace the entire group’s administration with a three-member board appointed by the state court.

    Following the court ruling the newspaper editorial team released a statement through its English-language sister publication, Today’s Zaman. The statement said: ‘We are going through the darkest and gloomiest days in terms of freedom of the press, which is a major benchmark for democracy and the rule of law. Intellectuals, business people, celebrities, civil society organisations (CSOs), media organisations and journalists are being silenced via threats and blackmail.

    ‘We have entered the last phase in terms of pressure on those who persistently remain independent in their publications. Journalists are now frequenting courts, not their newsrooms. A significant proportion of the journalists who have been detained and faced lawsuits again and again are still in prison.

    ‘Cumhuriyet newspaper Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar and its Ankara representative Erdem Gül are the latest victims of this campaign. They were released following a ruling by the Constitutional Court after remaining in custody for three months. Yet, there are premonitions that could take the wind out of the sails of those who support democracy. Indeed, the courts came under heavy fire soon after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that he did not respect the decision and would not obey it. “They will be arrested again,” pro-government lobbies are parroting.

    ‘Two TV channels from the opposite ends of the political spectrum, Bengütürk TV and IMC TV, have recently been dropped from the state-run communications satellite Türksat. The same practice has previously been used to target TV channels from the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group and the Ipek Media Group. Dozens of TV channels have thereby been effectively silenced.

    ‘Another method for silencing the media is to appoint trustees to run media organisations. In the run-up to the parliamentary election of June 7, 2015, government caretakers were appointed to Bugün TV and Kanaltürk, which constituted two of the few independent media outlets in Turkey. The trustees made two newspapers and two TV channels go bankrupt a few days ago.

    ‘However, all national laws including the Constitution of the Turkish Republic and the international agreements that are binding upon us provide comprehensive guarantees for freedom of the press and with it, the right to access information. Article 26 of the Constitution safeguards freedom of expression and thought and Articles 28 and 30 advocate freedom of the press; both are very clear.

    ‘“A printing house and its annexes, duly established as a press enterprise under law, and press equipment shall not be seized, confiscated or barred from operation on the grounds of having been used in a crime,” reads Article 30, which also guarantees freedom of enterprise and investment. Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is binding on Turkish courts.

    ‘Turkey’s highest circulating newspaper, Zaman, and its sister publication Today’s Zaman have come under serious pressure for more than two years, which has taken the form of accreditation bans, tax inspections, meddling with its advertisers and threats to its readers.

    ‘We have now been threatened with confiscation through the appointment of trustees. We are deeply concerned about all these developments that undermine Turkey’s democratic performance. We believe the only way out of this nightmarish atmosphere is to return to democracy and the rule of law. We are publishing our concerns to inform the Turkish nation, intellectuals who believe in democracy and the wider world.’

    After the ruling, hundreds of people gathered outside the newspaper’s offices in Istanbul protesting against the move, before police fired tear gas at protesters as they stormed the head office building. Amnesty International has condemned the move to silence the opposition press.

    ‘By lashing out and seeking to rein in critical voices, President Erdogan’s government is steamrolling over human rights,’ said Andrew Gardner from Amnesty International’s Turkey. Even the Obama administration, while reaffirming Turkey’s crucial role as a NATO member and US ally in the region, had to concede that the Turkish government’s recent actions are not fully consistent with the spirit of ‘democracy’.

    In a statement, State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said: ‘We see this as the latest in the series of troubling judicial and law enforcement actions taken by the Turkish government targeting media outlets and others critical of it.’

    He added: ‘We call on the Turkish government to ensure full respect for due process and equal treatment under the law. Court-ordered supervision of a media company’s finances and operations should not prompt changes to the newsroom or editorial policy.’



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