Ankara, June 3, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
Journalists stood up to the President of Turkey
Erdogan also filed a lawsuit for the “golden toilets”
He accused women of turning their backs on him
By Manolis Kostidis
With a front page publication, the journalists of the turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet stand their ground against Recep Tayyip Erdogan and ask to be tried together with their manager.
Last Saturday, the Turkish president threatened with severe penalties the head of the newspaper, for publishing photos featuring trucks of the Turkish secret service (MIT) carrying weapons to jihadists in Syria.
The turkish newspaper was released with the headline “we are all responsible”, with all journalists placing their signatures and photos taking responsibility of the publication and asking to be tried along with their manager.
“Together with our editor-in-chief Can Dundar we assume full responsibility of the publication… the duty of journalists is to inform the public and warn about possible threats”, is mentioned in the full-page publication.
Lawyers of the Turkish president filed a lawsuit against the director of the newspaper Can Dundar and accuse him of “publishing false news and photo given to him by the “parallel state” (Gulen’s movement) with the ultimate objective to create the impression that Turkey supports terrorist organizations”.
“We are journalists, we will not hide the dirty affairs of the government”
“We are journalists, we ask politicians to account for their actions before the people. It is not our job to hide the dirty affairs and omissions of each government”, Dundar replied to the prosecutions already initiated against him.
The case with the trucks of the MIT was revealed in 2014 when they had been stopped by prosecutors. The Turkish Government had argued that the cargo belonged to MIT, but was carrying humanitarian aid for the Turkmen in Syria.
With its front page publication last Friday, Cumhuriyet reopened the issue, along with photos showing police officers opening boxes, which according to the report contained weapons and ammunition that had been loaded into three trucks.
Erdogan filed a lawsuit for the “golden toilets”
Erdogan filed a case against the leader of the Republican People’s Party Kemal Kilicdaroglu and request moral compensation of 100,000 turkish lira (35,000 euros) on charges of defamation. The President of the CHP had argued that in the new palace where the Turkish president resides, there are toilets with gold toilet bowls. The opposition accuses the president of Turkey for excessive expenses, as only the new palace has cost USD 500 million. “How does Kilicdaroglu know how the toilets are, has he cleaned them?”, said the Turkish president.
Erdogan speaks against women who turned their backs on him
Erdogan was angered by hundreds of women in the city of Igdir in Eastern Turkey, for turning their backs at him when he passed in front of them with his car.
“Let them go protest in Parliament. What is this? We know what it means when women turn their backs, but we can’t say it because of our morality”, Erdogan said, causing the angry reaction of women’s organizations who accuse him of unethical statements.
Rumors for the imminent arrests of journalists
A few days before the election of June 7, great fear has spread in the journalistic circles of Turkey from a rumor that a major operation is about to take place against the opponents of Erdogan.
The rumor was posted on Twitter by a user who is hidding behind the pseudonym «Fuat Avni» and who has imparted in the past with great accuracy impending operations against political opponents and enemies of Erdogan.
In his message, “Fuat Avni” supports that there are imminent new mass arrests of journalists and judges, under the government’s attempt to gag the media.
In successive messages, he claimed that Erdogan after the publication of Cumhuriyet has requested about 200 arrests, “anxious about the possibility of a trial at the International Criminal Court, for supplying with weapons armed groups in Syria, among which extremists loyal to al Qaeda and the Islamic State”.
Possible targets of such an operation, apart from Can Dundar, could be according to “Fuat Avni”, the Managing Editor of opposition newspaper Zaman and its English-language version, the editor-in-chief of the bimonthly magazine Turkish Review, the spokesman of Bugün TV in Ankara and executives of the newspapers Bugün, Taraf and Zaman. All media except Cumhuriyet have organic relationship with the Islamic Movement of Gulen.
The Turkish government argues that behind Fuat Avni is hiding the said Movement, which is now considered a terrorist organization, and disseminates this information. However, all in all, most of the information that he has revealed have been confirmed. Many fear that such companies may be postponed for a few days and be made after the elections.
The main objective of the AKP and Erdogan in this election, is to secure enough seats (330) to obtain the majority needed to change the Constitution, giving more executive powers to the president of Turkey. If the pro-Kurdish HDP overcomes the election threshold of 10%, this target will become hard to reach.