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Renowned Turkish journalists released after 92-day imprisonment

Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, of Cumhuriyet newspaper, were released after Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled that their rights to personal liberty and freedom of expression had been violated.

Can Dundar, the editor-in-chief of opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, leaves a car the outside the Silivri prison near Istanbul, after his release on 26 February 2016
Can Dundar, the editor-in-chief of opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, leaves a car the outside the Silivri prison near Istanbul, after his release on 26 February 2016

AP Photo/Can Erok

This statement was originally published on bianet.org on 26 February 2016.

Click here to read the article in Turkish / Haberin Türkçesi için buraya tıklayın

Cumhuriyet daily editor-in-chief Can Dündar and its Ankara representative, Erdem Gül, went the newspaper's office building after their 92-day imprisonment, which ended after the Constitutional Court ruled that it was a violation of their rights.

According to Cumhuriyet, Dündar and Gül's statements are as follows:

Erdem Gül: Journalism inspects political authority

"In fact, freedom of thought, freedom of expression should be normal. They don't need to be achieved by a court ruling, it is already something that should exist. The prices were paid earlier in this country."

"In fact, there shouldn't be a thing like dissident journalism, journalism is already an activity of inspection. It inspects political authority. While there is political authority, [a] powerful one, it won't inspect the weak."

"Since it is an activity of inspection, there shouldn't be distinctions like dissident journalists or journalists of political authority. However, since criticism alone – even a normal report – can be subject to accusation [and] life imprisonment in Turkey, there are many things we have to do."

“We have to continue doing what we do…Since the imprisoned journalists issue continues, we have to carry on writing and walking on this path”.

Can Dündar: I thank Erdoğan…

“Murat had a joke, let me tell it: He [said] that when I became the editor-in-chief, that the 'editor-in-cheif and Ankara representative should communicate around twice a day.' That is what we talked among us but we weren't supposed to lie together for 24 hours."

“I would like to thank Mr. President; he has created this solidarity. He made the secret they were trying to hide known to the whole world. Seriously, we couldn't have done this much, even if we wanted to."

"We have faced a really serious accusation and become the most favorite spies of Turkey. That is why we are happy."

"The Constitutional Court hasn't just revealed how baseless the accusations directed against us, but also demonstrated how vital and important freedom of the press is”. (EKN/TK)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
What other IFEX members are saying
  • Turkey: Two journalists released after 92 days in jail

    The IFJ and EFJ are now calling the Turkish authorities to drop all charges against Can Dündar and Erdem Gül and to release the 30 other journalists still held behind bars.

Additional resources


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