Pro-Kurdish politician faces 6 lawsuits over ‘terrorism propaganda’

Lawyers of former Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanli said in a statement on Tuesday that according to news articles in pro-government newspapers, their clientand’s detention was sought as part of an investigation in which Dumanliand’s name was not even mentioned in the prosecutorand’s indictment and police reports.
In response to claims by pro-government newspapers that a detention warrant was issued for Dumanli on Sept. 18, Dumanliand’s lawyers said a negative perception operation is under way via pro-government media outlets to defame their client.
The pro-government daily Takvim claimed on Tuesday that a detention warrant was issued for Dumanli as part of a probe against police officers who had carried out operations in December 2013 as part of graft probes and an investigation into Tawhid-Salam, an Iranian-backed terrorist organization.
The Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court accepted on Monday a 10,559-page indictment that Istanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor irfan Fidan submitted late last month. The indictment involved 122 suspects, including prominent Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gandulen, journalist Emre Uslu and former police chief Yurt Atayandun. In addition to accepting the indictment, the court issued an arrest warrant for Gandulen and Uslu in absentia.
A total of 54 police officers, including former senior police chiefs, were detained and later arrested in an operation that began with pre-dawn raids on July 22, 2014. The operations were widely believed to be an act of revenge by the government for the corruption investigation that became public on Dec. 17, 2013 and that implicated people from the inner circles of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
Emphasizing that they did not receive any notice from the prosecutorand’s office, Dumanliand’s lawyers said and”If the prosecutorand’s office needed Dumanliand’s testimony on something, they should have done it in normal way and summoned our client for testimony over the past 50 days.and” The statement also said leaking the supposed warrant to media outlets after withholding it for 50 days is ill-intentioned and is a publicity operation aimed at defaming their client.
Dumanli also responded to the claims on his Twitter account, saying that neither he nor his lawyers have any knowledge that he was being looked for, if the claims are indeed true.
and”The prosecution could have just called me and taken my statement, instead of andlsquoviolating the secrecy of the case.and’ I donand’t see any goodwill in this case nor do I see any justice. I refer the things that are being done to the public conscience and to God,and” Dumanli wrote.
According to Dumanliand’s lawyers, the reports in the pro-government dailies aim to defame Dumanli in the eyes of the public as part of a perception operation. Lawyer underlined that the groundless accusations harbor ill-will against Dumanli and betray the trust on the judiciary. and”We will take legal actions against those dailies which published groundless accusations against our client and follow the matter in judiciary,and” they said.
Dumanli was first taken into custody on Dec. 14, 2014, when the headquarters of the Zaman daily and the Samanyolu Broadcasting Corporation in Istanbul were raided by police as part of a government-orchestrated investigation. As part of the investigation, Dumanli, Samanyolu CEO Hidayet Karaca, police officers and soup opera script writers were detained over charges of defaming a Al-Qaeda linked religious group, Tahiiye, through TV serials, reports and articles and being part of an armed terrorist organization.
The testimonies of Dumanli and Karaca were taken 80 hours after they were first taken into custody. While Dumanli and script writers were subsequently released on Dec. 19 but were banned from leaving the country, Karaca and police officers were arrested pending trial.
The detention of Dumanli and Karaca, along with 31 others, as draw reactions from domestic and international journalist associations, such as the US-based Freedom House, Amnesty International (AI) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
However, the indictment which was recently submitted to a court in Istanbul in September after nine months from the operation, has been slammed by many critics on the grounds that it is full of false claims, fabricated evidence and paragraphs copied and pasted from private investigator reports.
On Oct. 5, Dumanli announced in a statement that he resigned his post as he sees he cannot perform his job as the editor-in-chief of the Zaman daily due to recent pressure on him and the media. Dumanli also announced that Cihan news agency head Abdandulhamit Bilici was appointed as Zamanand’s new editor-in-chief after his resignation.
and”I think I have been unable to sufficiently and efficiently contribute to the Zaman daily, where I have been serving since 2001, and that my health does not allow this either. For this reason, I resign from the post of editor-in-chief, which I have sincerely tried to maintain as much as I could,and” Dumanli said.
Dumanliand’s lawyers told in the statement that he wants to take some rest after a stressful term for 14 years and focused book writing. and”Therefore, we will take necessary actions on behalf of our client, if we receive any call from a court or prosecutorand’s office for an investigation against him,and” the statement said.


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