For quite some time, Cumhuriyet newspaper has been a target of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). They took the newspaper’s journalists captive and sought to sentence them to dozens of years in prison. They tried everything, only to run into the resistance of the journalists who work there. When the newspaper’s administrators and writers were arrested, others stepped up to assume their place out of a sense of solidarity. Naturally, it makes us proud to say that one of those was our chair, Faruk Eren.
This time, however, those that couldn’t destroy Cumhuriyet from the outside opted to use the fifth column from within, making common cause with those who would run the paper into the ground – so long as it became theirs. Such people sent informants’ letters to the palace, resulting in the arrest of journalists. While journalists at home and abroad were engaged in solidarity, they revealed themselves to be witnesses for the prosecution.
Ultimately, they succeeded, grabbing the positions they so lusted after. Alev Coşkun, who provided testimony against Cumhuriyet employees, became the Cumhuriyet Foundation chair, while Aykut Küçükkaya was named editor-in-chief.
No sooner had they assumed their positions than they put their plans into practice. They set about altering the paper’s front page while removing our chair and acting Cumhuriyet news editor, Faruk Eren, as well as DİSK Basın-İş member and Cumhuriyet News Editor Bülent Özdoğan.
We know well who is behind this, as well as how they acted as strike breakers when the laborers at Cumhuriyet’s printing shop began labor action. What’s more, we know of their greed for power.
And as we know them, they know us. They knew well that our friends would not pledge fealty to them simply to remain in their positions. They knew well that our friends would continue to protect journalism and editorial independence under any circumstance. That’s why their first target was DİSK.
But every time you target the workers of Cumhuriyet, you will find DİSK as an opponent.
And in the face of this purge at Cumhuriyet, we call on all labor, professional and democratic groups, especially journalistic organizations, to defend the right to the news and the profession of journalism.