Bugun, Millet editors not allowed to enter dailies’ office by trustees

Erhan Baiyurt, who is legally still the editor-in-chief of the Bugandun daily, and Deier andOzergandun, the editor-in-chief of the Millet daily, were barred from entering the offices of the dailies by government-appointed trustees on Friday. Both dailies were forcibly taken over on Wednesday by a number of trustees appointed by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government following a controversial court decision. Both Baiyurt and andOzergandun were fired by the trustees on Thursday. However, the dismissals are invalid because the appointment of the trustees has not yet been published in the Trade Registry Gazette and the trustees thus do not have the authority to hire or dismiss any employee. Despite this lack of authority, the trustees on Wednesday stopped Thursdayand’s edition of the two dailies from going to print and dismissed a number of employees on Thursday. A group of police officers also cut the broadcast of Kanaltandurk after breaking into Koza ipek Holdingand’s headquarters, while another group stormed the production control room of Bugandun TV on Wednesday. The Bugandun and Millet dailies and Bugandun and Kanatandurk TV channels are affiliated with Koza ipek Holding. The trustees have even changed the broadcasting and publishing policies of those media outlets despite lacking the legal authority to do so. Both Baiyurt and andOzergin were made to wait at the entrance of the building for a while before they were allowed to enter. They then learnt the trustees had decided to make them, along with several other employees, go on a four-day compulsory leave. This decision has led to speculations that the trustees made the decision because of the Nov. 1 snap election and will decide what to do with those employees based on the results of the election. If the AK Party manages to regain its parliamentary majority, all those employees will be dismissed but if the AK Party fails, the trustees may end their unlawful occupation of the media outlets. Pointing out that he is still the legal editor-in-chief of the daily, Baiyurt told all the employees of the newspaper they should get their orders in written form in order to avoid being implicated in the trusteesand’ crimes. Saying they will file complaints against the trustees and anyone else who engages in any unlawful deed against them, Baiyurt added that keeping written records of the orders will also greatly help them during the future legal proceedings against the trustees.
h2 Suspicious incident at Bugandunh2 The trustees also prevented some employees, who left the building to attend Friday prayers at a nearby mosque, from returning to the office. According to media reports, a list of those who have been dismissed by the trustees was prepared which is why the police were asking for the identity cards of employees before allowing them to enter the building on Friday. The police told some of the employees their contracts had been terminated by the trustees. While tensions were flaring at the entrance of the building, a person claiming to be the new managing editor appointed by the trustees attempted to pickpocket the phone of an employee working at Bugandun. However, his attempt was detected by the other employees. After objections and reactions from the crowd, the police took the individual out of the building. Speaking with a Samanyolu News TV reporter over the incident, Pak Media Work (Pak Medya-ii) Union President ismail Topandcuoilu, who was also the entrance of the building during the tension, said the police attempted to detained the person trying to steal the Bugandun reporterand’s phone but the person told the police he has and”a card,and” implying he is either a member of the National Intelligence Organization (MiT) or a plainclothes policeman. Topandcuoilu said upon making this statement, the police tried to protect him from the employees and took him to a police vehicle. When the Samanyolu News TV reporter asked the individual who was being escorted by the police why he was being taken to the police vehicle even though he was not being detained, the individual remained silent and tried to hide from the camera. Furthermore, another person accompanying the individual also attempted to attack the Samanyolu reporter. Giving details about the suspicious incident, Bugandun reporter Bilal iahin said on Twitter another example of the and”Run ismailand” scandal, which occurred on July 28 last year, took place in the Bugandun building on Friday. While a pro-government judge was interrogating a number of policemen detained as part of a government-initiated operation in July of last year, he was reportedly called into a meeting with officials from the police and MiT. The policemenand’s lawyers, along with a lawmaker, entered the judgeand’s room in the middle of the meeting. When the judge protested that he was in a meeting, the lawmaker inquired who the participants were. The people in the room were Istanbul Police Department Anti-Terrorism Unit Chief Kayhan Ay, Istanbul Deputy Chief Prosecutor Orhan Kapici and one person who has not been identified. When the lawyers and the deputy questioned the identity of the third person, the judge reportedly shouted, andquotRun, ismail, run!andquot iahin said in a tweet the police had said the suspicious individual who attempted to steal the employeeand’s phone was with them and took him under protection immediately. In protest of the unlawful treatments by the trustees, Bugandun TV Editor Fatih Akalan and Bugandun TV newsreader Turan GandOranduryilmaz announced their resignations. Speaking to reporters while leaving the headquarters of the TV channel, Akalan said he is fed up with seeing riot police vehicles in front of his office and with showing his identity card to the police waiting in front of their office instead of dealing with terrorists.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN