Skip to main content

44 journalists before a Turkish tribunal

A shameful press trial as well for Turkey as for Europe!

Doğan Özgüden, Info-Türk Chief Editor, issued the following declaration on September 9, 2012, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the beginning of his journalistic career in Turkey:

I began journalism in the Republic of Turkey at the age of 16 years in Izmir on September 9, 1952

It was the first years of the Democrat Party's power having promised a real democratization in the country. However, at that date, 184 personalities of whom many writers or artists of the country were already behind iron bars on charge of belonging to a communist organization. It was followed by the arrest of many journalists or writers whatsoever be their political opinion.

A group of Turkish Army's officers overthrew the DP on May 27, 1960, by a military coup with the promise to establish a democratic regime. However they refused to release Kurdish intellectuals already in prison. Moreover, they did not delay to deport many distinguished Kurdish intellectuals and to put in jail our internationally known writer Aziz Nesin and courageous journalist Ihsan Ada.

The main target of the repression during the period of coalitions, military coups of 1971 and 1980 as well as during post-modern coups of the end of 20th century and beginning of the 21st century was always journalists, writers, artists and the defenders of the rights of the working people, the Kurdish people and the national minorities.

During my 60-year career of journalist, including years of exile, I have only known repression, legal proceedings, trials, condemnations, exile and menaces of death.

The details and proofs of this disrespect of the freedom of expression can be found in my 1000-page memoirs, published in two volumes under the title of "Stateless" Journalist.

At this 60th anniversary of my career as a journalist, I do not wish to talk about my proper problems and fights. I solely wish to put emphasis on the deplorable situation of the freedom of expression and the press in a country that is always a member of the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and NATO , and a candidate to the European Union.

Three days later, it will be the anniversary of the bloodiest putsches of the last century: the September 12, 1980 Coup.

In spite of all claims of democratization, the constitution of the putschists always remains in force and the repressive practices against the Kurdish people and national and confessional minorities continue with the same atrocity.

As for the numbers:

So many journalists, currently about a hundred, had never been behind iron bars before the AKP came to power.

So many political men or women, currently several thousands, had never been behind iron bars before the AKP came to power.

On September 10, 2012, 44 journalists will be tried at a Turkish tribunal on charge of "terrorism".

- The people of Turkey, with Turks, Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Jews and more than 50 ethnical groups, do not deserve it.

- The European peoples who consider the European Union as a project of cohabiting in peace and social justice do not deserve it.

Shame on Turkey's political leaders who consider themselves as heirs of 16 "Turkish States" founded during centuries, who have the ambition to see Turkey as the second strongest state in the European Union after Germany, who use all means for establishing a neo-Ottoman hegemony in Middle East as a regional superpower.

Shame on European leaders who carry on bargaining with Turkey by considering it as a reliable partner for the European Union, who remain silent before the permanent violation of the freedom of expression , and who give Ankara whatever concession to obtain the votes of the citizens of Turkish origin.

Brussels, September 9, 2012
Doğan Özgüden
Chief Editor of Info-Türk INFO-TURK
53, rue de Pavie

Tel: (32-2) 215 35 76
Fax: (32-2) 215 58 60


Popular posts from this blog

Jeremy Corbyn: Internationalist at Work

Another featured article from the latest issue of The Spokesman comes from the 2011 edition of J. A. Hobson's Imperialism. Jeremy Corbyn penned the book's foreword, which we reprint here under the title 'Internationalist at Work'.
As a separate point of interest, we also include this comparative image of the logo of publication The Week, circa 1960s, and Corbyn's recent campaign logo. Cut from the same cloth? 

Internationalist at Work
J. A. Hobson wrote his great tome at a different age. His thoughts were dominated by the zenith of the British Empire and the Boer War. The outcome of the war demonstrated Britain’s then ability in sustaining global reach, since Elizabethan times, but also its extreme vulnerability. At home the poor physique of working class soldiers led to Haldane’s investigation into working class health and living conditions. The difficulty in containing the rebellious Boers, and the huge opposition to the war, encouraged further doubts about the whol…

'Not as dumb as he looks' - Muhammad Ali on Bertrand Russell

In his autobiography The Greatest: My Own Story, Muhammad Ali recounts how Bertrand Russell got in contact with him, and their ensuing correspondence:

For days I was talking to people from a whole new world. People who were not even interested in sports, especially prizefighting. One in particular I will never forget: a remarkable man, seventy years older than me but with a fresh outlook which seemed fairer than that of any white man I had ever met in America.
My brother Rahaman had handed me the phone, saying, ‘Operator says a Mr. Bertrand Russell is calling Mr. Muhammad Ali.’ I took it and heard the crisp accent of an Englishman: ‘Is this Muhammad Ali?’ When I said it was, he asked if I had been quoted correctly.
I acknowledged that I had been, but wondered out loud, ‘Why does everyone want to know what I think about Viet Nam? I’m no politician, no leader. I’m just an athlete.’
‘Well,’ he said, ‘this is a war more barbaric than others, and because a mystique is built up around a cham…

Keywords: Art, Culture and Society in 1980s Britain

Tate Liverpool: Exhibition 28 February – 11 May 2014
Adult £8.80 (without donation £8) Concession £6.60 (without donation £6)
Help Tate by including the voluntary donation to enable Gift Aid

Keywords: Art, Culture and Society in 1980s Britain, is a new take on how the changes in the meaning of words reflect the cultural shifts in our society. This dynamic exhibition takes its name and focus from the seminal 1976 Raymond Williams book on the vocabulary of culture and society.
An academic and critic influenced by the New Left, Williams defined ‘Keywords’ as terms that repeatedly crop up in our discussion of culture and society. His book contains more than 130 short essays on words such as ‘violence’, ‘country’, ‘criticism’, ‘media’, ‘popular’ and ‘exploitation’ providing an account of the word’s current use, its origin and the range of meanings attached to it. Williams expressed the wish some other ‘form of presentation could be devised’ for his book, and this exhibition is one such int…