Arrested journalist Baransu’s wife Nesibe takes over ’wait for hope’ vigil

In a statement to the assembled journalists, Aytav said Dundar, Gul, Hidayet Karaca, Baransu, Gultekin Avcı and many more journalists have been imprisoned in an effort to deter the remaining ones not to adopt a critical stance and to intimidate those still doing so to abandon their approach.

“However, those arrested journalists refused to bow to this pressure by showing courage. Being courageous is a sense that affects the others. Despite the gloomy environment that envelops the media in terms of freedom of the press, I hope all journalists will show solidarity against this oppression. Whatever our ideologies, all of us should show solidarity with those imprisoned journalists,” Aytav noted.

He also called on those main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies, who have only visited Dundar and Gul, and not the other journalists being held in Silivri, to visit all the journalists in Silivri.

Dundar and Gul were arrested on Nov. 26 after being charged in May with “espionage,” “revealing confidential documents” and “membership of a terrorist organization.” The charges relate to the Cumhuriyet daily’s publishing of a report claiming that weapons-loaded trucks that were discovered in January 2014 en route to Syria actually belonged to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and had been sent to provide support to rebel groups.

Baransu has been in prison since March 1 of this year, when around 30 police officers raided and searched his home in İstanbul’s Eyup district for 12 hours before detaining him for questioning in relation to documents he submitted to prosecutors in 2010 about the Balyoz coup plot. On March 2, Baransu was arrested by the İstanbul 5th Penal Court of Peace.

Nesibe Baransu said she is proud to be the wife of Mehmet Baransu, who has been held in Silivri Prison for 284 days. “I am here to make a contribution to a promising future for all kinds of freedoms. We are here on behalf of arrested journalists. There is a huge pressure in Turkey as 31 journalists are currently in prison,” she said.

In the meantime, Kati Piri, the European Parliament’s (EP) rapporteur for Turkey, shared a tweet on her Twitter account on Friday, which said: “A letter by Turkish journalist Can Dundar from prison: Values not to be sacrificed.”

In his letter, Dundar wrote: “Dear Kati Piri, I wanted to thank you, on behalf of myself and all [the] arrested journalists of Turkey, for your valuable support. We have felt the solidarity of our European friends, in spite of the fact that many of the EU leaders preferred to stay [silent] in order to secure Turkey’s cooperation in [the] refugee crisis. I hope the Europeans will not sacrifice their values for the protection of their border from a wave of refugees. We, as journalists, stand for our right for freedom of information.”