BuLENT – An outcry by intellectuals

An outcry by intellectualsandquotEvery cloud has a silver lining.andquot Sometimes we are so focused on the negative incidents in our lives that we might fail to see the good developments that may be ushered in by those incidents.

Yet, the world and life consists of darkness and light, black and white, good and evil, each intertwined and the cause or the result of each other, arenand#39t they?If the detention of 31 people including Ekrem DumanlI, the editor-in-chief of Turkeyand#39s best-selling newspaper, and Hidayet Karaca, the general manager of the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group that includes Turkeyand#39s most popular TV channels, on frivolous charges on Dec. 14, 2014 is evil and a great act of oppression, we must also be able to see the good or positive developments this evil or cruel act has triggered.

To see these positive developments, we need to have a look at this evil incident closely and from a different perspective.First of all, we, the democrats, are still having difficulty explaining the countryand#39s anti-democratic and despotic course in recent years to our friends at home and abroad.

When the police raided Turkeyand#39s best-selling newspaperand#39s headquarters to bring its editor-in-chief, DumanlI, into custody and kept him behind bars unlawfully and in an unfair manner, and when Karaca, the general manager of the countryand#39s popular TV network, was detained along with the scriptwriter, director and players of a soap opera and arrested unlawfully on charges of leading a terrorist organization, this revealed to everyone the current state of affairs in Turkey with crystal clarity.Everyone clearly saw how Turkey is being dragged by a lawless despot toward an arbitrary, unlawful and anti-democratic regime.

It definitely proved that the country has been distanced miles away from the democratic league by Recep Tayyip ErdoIanand#39s dictatorial regime. The latest blow to free media has made everyone in the West and East see with perfect clarity that ErdoIan and his cronies have turned into cruel despots.

Paradoxically, the ErdoIanian dictatorial regimeand#39s latest crackdown on rights and freedoms and free media has urged those who are concerned with democracy and rule of law in Turkey to raise a unified voice against it. This attack brought together people from diverse ideological camps.

Turkeyand#39s leading intellectuals with different lifestyles exhibited a common position, stressing the need to uphold democracy, maintain rule of law and promote Turkeyand#39s membership in the democratic and civilized world. This voice by democratic intellectuals from left and right wings, conservative and liberal camps and the nationalist front as a result of their concern for common values has turned into a shout to be heard by everyone around the world.

First, these intellectuals placed a full-page statement on several newspapers on Dec. 17 and underlined that the police raids and detentions amount to a andquotcoup against the freedom of the press as well as against Turkeyand#39s democratic future.

andquot Dozens of distinguished intellectuals of Turkey including DoIan AkIn, Murat Aksoy, Mustafa Akyol, Mehmet Altan, Hayko BaIdat, Can Dundar, Ali Bula, Hasan Cemal, Yasemin ongar, Nuray Mert, Metin Munir, Zeynep Tanbay, PInar Turen, Perihan MaIden, Utku akIrzer, Cengiz andar, NeIe Duzel, Cafer Solgun, Derya Sazak, Atilla Sertel, Amberin Zaman and YIlmaz OdabaII undersigned this statement, demanding that the detained journalists be freed immediately.Noting that andquotthis deplorable incident is the latest example of systematic attempts to pressure, prohibit and intimidate the media in Turkey,andquot they harshly rejected all forms of interventions in the media and the freedom of thought.

With their rejection of tyranny and repression and their dignified, bold and noble stance, they have etched their names in history, leaving a proud legacy behind.On Dec.

22, others joined these respectable people, who proved they are the true representatives of Turkeyand#39s intellectual heritage at a time when unlawfulness, arbitrary rule, despotism and dictatorship have peaked. Together, they published the andquotDeclaration from Intellectuals.

andquot With a strong voice, these intellectuals, of whom Turkey should be proud, andquotcalled on the ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP] to backpedal from the dangerous road it is treading on before it is too late for democracy in Turkey.andquotThe signatories of the petition that went online at Change.

org included many prominent intellectuals such as Ahmet Altan, Ahmet Insel, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Altan Tan, Asaf SavaI Akat, AslI Tun, Ataol BehramoIlu, AydIn Engin, Ayhan Aktar, BaskIn Oran, Cafer Solgun, Cemal UIIak, Cengiz Aktar, Cengiz andar, Ceren Szeri, Ceyda Karan, Cihangir Islam, Cuneyt ulsever, Daron AcemoIlu, Dengir Mir Mehmet FIrat, DoIan AkIn, DoIan SatmII, DoIu Ergil, Ergun Babahan, Erkam Tufan Aytav, Erkan Saka, ErtuIrul Gunay, Ferhat Kentel, Gencay Gursoy, Hadi Uluengin, Hasan Cemal, Hayko BaIdat, Herkul Milas, Hilmi Yavuz, Ibrahim Betil, IItar GzaydIn, KazIm Guleyuz, Koray alIIkan, KurIat Bumin, Levent Kker, Mario Levi, Maya Arakon, Mehmet Altan, Mehmet Betil, MehveI Evin, Melis Behlil, Murat Aksoy, Murat Belge, Mustafa ErdoIan, Mustafa YeIil, Muge Gcek, Mumtazand#39er Turkne, NamIk Inar, NazlI IlIcak, NeIe Duzel, Nil Mutluer, Nilufer Gle, Niyazi ktem, Nuray Mert, Orhan Kemal Cengiz, Osman Kavala, Oya Baydar, mer Lainer, mer Madra, Pelin Batu, Reha amuroIlu, Sait etinoIlu, Samim Akgnul, Selahattin zel, Seyfettin Gursel, Suat KInIklIoIlu, Iahin Alpay, Tahir zyurtseven, Taner Akam, Tayfun Atay, TuIba Tekerek, Ufuk Uras, umit KardaI, Yasemin ongar, Yasemin InceoIlu, Yavuz Baydar, Yavuz OIhan and Yuksel TaIkIn.The petitions undersigned by these intellectuals from diverse ideological camps and lifestyles were later backed by tens of thousands of signatories, and their support continues.

Noting that andquotTurkeyand#39s democracy had been regularly impeded by coups in the past, but today its vitality is suffering greatly under a civil administration,andrdquo the second petition writes: andquotTurkey is governed by a ruling party that sees separation of powers, judicial independence, parliamentary supervision, use of right to peaceful assembly and protest and the freedom of the press as threats or coups against itself and portray democracyand#39s typical components such as checks and balances as obstacles to and#39national willand#39.andquotIt makes the following observation about the course of the country under the ErdoIanian dictatorship: andquotMany amendments have been made to laws in recent years that distanced the legal system miles away from universal legal norms, turning it into a vehicle of oppression against fundamental rights and freedoms.

With an ever-increasing pace in growing authoritarian, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have pressurized media bosses to lay off hundreds of critical journalists and columnists and leveraged public resources to ensure that many newspapers and TV networks are acquired by pro-government businessmen.andquotIn its latest move on December 14, 2014, journalists, particularly including executives of Turkeyand#39s best-selling Zaman newspaper and popular Samanyolu TV network, as well as producers, actors and actresses of TV serials were taken to custody on charges of membership to a and#39terrorist organizationand#39 and attempting to take over the state.

The ruling party seeks to silence the critical media by using the penal laws and judicial bodies that have recently been reorganized to this end, and efforts are made to eradicate journalism as a profession.andquotAs a democrat who will continue to live in Turkey, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to these venerable intellectuals.

It is good to see you side with this stentorian voice that promotes democracy, rights and freedoms.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman