Lawyers say negative publicity operation under way to defame DumanlI

Todayand’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bandulent Kenei testified in court on Monday on charges of andquotinsultingand” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu in a message he recently posted on his personal Twitter account.
Speaking to journalists outside the BakirkandOy Courthouse on Monday after giving his testimony to the Istanbul 35th Criminal Court of First Instance, Kenei said that testifying in courts had become routine for journalists.
He added: andquotIf you remember, a police operation was launched against the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group and the Zaman Media Group on Dec. 14 of last year. Samanyolu CEO Hidayet Karaca gave a statement to the police at a police station and Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanli was briefly detained. However, two days before the police operation, Dumanli and Karaca visited the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutorand’s Office to learn whether they were being investigated. The prosecutorand’s office said there was no such investigation and no planned raid on the groups. Even then-Justice Minister Bekir Bozdai said the allegations that there would be an investigation and raid were just rumors. However, on the morning of Dec. 14, the Zaman headquarters was raided by police and Karaca was detained at the police station where he was being held at the time. Five days after the incident, Karaca was arrested and Dumanli released after the court imposed a travel ban on him.andquot
Continuing his remarks, Kenei said: andquotTen days after the incident, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu claimed that [the arrest of Karaca and detention of Dumanli] had nothing to do with freedom of the press and said about the two journalists, and’None of this would have happened if they had gone to the prosecutorand’s office in line with the prosecutorand’s invitation to give statements about the investigation.and’ After Davutoiluand’s accusation, I posted a tweet. The content of my tweet is obvious. I made a hypothetical statement. I wrote, and’If Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu is speaking about something he doesnand’t know about, that is a shame if he does know but made his remarks nonetheless, then he is a liarand’.and”
Kenei faces multiple investigations on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Davutoilu and other senior Justice and Development Party (AK Party) figures. Some media commentators have said that the trial is simply part of the government-led intimidation of journalists who refuse to ignore the unlawful practices of the government.
So far, dozens of journalists have faced investigations on charges of insulting government figures and several others have been imprisoned for their critical stance.


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