Police raid in the newspaper Zaman – The background of the case

Police raid in the newspaper Zaman – The background of the case

Ankara, March 7, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Manolis Kostidis

The owners of Istikbal furniture in prison for their affiliation with Gulen

The capture of Zaman newspaper by Turkish police after the decision for the appointment of a state guardianship, the arrests of two owners of the large business Group Boydak, on charhes of supporting a “terrorist organization”, as well as the acceleration of the process of lifting the parliamentary immunity of five Kurdish MPs are causes for concern for the EU and Washington.

On Friday, the Turkish government issued a guardianship status for the newspaper Zaman, placing it under the control of the state, after the request of the prosecutor investigating “possible connection of the Gülen movement to terrorist organizations”.

The employees of the newspaper tried to prevent the police raid on the offices, resulting in violent incidents and protesters.

The backstage of the invasion in Zaman is thought to be the conflict of Gulen with Erdogan. The circulation of the newspaper exceeds 700,000 copies and belongs to Feza publishing Group controlled by the Islamic movement Hizmet of the preacher Fethullah Gülen.

The Turkish government has declared “war” against Gulen and his staff as it considers that in 2013 he tried to overthrow Recep Tayyip Erdogan by revealing the corruption scandals of ministers of his government at the time and members of his family. At the same time Gulen’s movement is considered to be behind the illegal tapping of Erdogan’s telephone conversations.

Until the “war” between Erdogan and Gulen that broke out in 2013, Zaman was an ally of the AKP government and supported it in every way. With front page publications it had played a major role in the arrest of the president of the football club Fenerbahçe, on charges of “setting up” games (the movement wanted to control the football club), as well as the arrest of journalists and officers of the Turkish army on charges of participation in the paramilitary organization “Ergenekon” and the Bayloz (Sledgehammer) planned coup. All the accused were acquitted.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu argued that “Turkey has the right to check those who take part in a clear coup attempt, either economic or of the press, against an elected government”.

The EU pointed to Turkey that as a candidate country for the EU membership it “must respect the freedom of the press”.

Washington apologised for this latest in a series of “worrying judicial and police actions” of the Turkish government against the media “and those who criticize it”.

Newspapers and television networks closed… under government control

A few months ago another publishing Group of the Ipek Group had passed under state control. The newspapers Bugün, Millet and the television networks Bugun TV and Kanaltürk passed into the hands of state guardianship, which last week decided to close all said media due to damages!

The businessmen and owners of Istikbal furniture were placed under arrest

Serious reflection cause the arrests of two famous businessmen of Turkey, Haji Boydak and Memduh Boydak on charges of financing the movement of Hizmet of Fethoullah Gulen. According to the turkish press, the Boydak Group, owned by the two businessmen, was making numerous donations for many years to the movement’s schools.

The two businessmen are known to have close relations with the former President of Turkey Abdullah Gul.

The Boydak Group is involved in many fields such as energy, textile industry, and owns a steel factory. It also produces “İstikbal” furniture, with dozens of shops in Turkey and in the Balkans.

Towards the lifting of Demirtas parliamentary immunity

Ahmet Davutoglu revealed that the Turkish government expedites procedures to be discussed in Parliament the request for the waiver of the immunity of the President of the pro-Kurdish Party HDP Selahattin Demirtas, as well as that of four other MPs of the party. The prosecutor of Diyarbakır asks they be tried due to their speeches at the conference of their party, where they had mentioned the possibility of the Kurds autonomy.