BuLENT – Journalist Baransu is in jail who is next?

Journalist Baransu is in jail who is next?The latest victim of President Recep Tayyip ErdoIanand#39s dictatorial regime — whose character is getting clearer each day — is Mehmet Baransu.Baransu is a journalist.

And he is a good one. This is because he has ample moral standing and the courage needed for good journalism He is morally upright because he does not deign to indulge in charades, lies or defamation in order to be the center of attention.

He is brave because he has never submitted to subversive generals or despotic thieves of our time who have monopolized power He walks on the path which he considers to be straight and he never sacrifices the spirit of chivalry. Even though he knows what will happen to him due to the corrupt power elites and their fickle and spineless collaborators, he does not bend the truth.

Actually, I donand#39t know Mehmet Baransu very well. I know him mostly in connection with his journalistic successes.

Of course, I have met him several times on TV programs or at events. I donand#39t know him well, but this does not prevent me from showing my disapproval of his being first detained and then arrested after the police raided his house on Sunday and searched it for 12 hours.

I didnand#39t hesitate even for a minute before doing so. This is because Baransu is a colleague who deserves to be backed with a natural reflex.

His case is similar to those of Can Dundar, Sedef KabaI, Hidayet Karaca — who has been in jail for 75 days — Ekrem DumanlI and many other colleagues of mine.We donand#39t have to pay heed to the grounds for his arrest used by the court, which gives in to lies, slander and even being a pawn of the despot.

Journalist Mehmet Baransu was arrested for insisting on performing the right journalism at a time when cowards — many of whom can be found in the media sector — rush to curry favor with the oppressor and oppression or lie low out of fear of the oppressor Of course, Baransu is not the first or last person who has been arrested for championing rights and freedoms or being after the truth. As the ErdoIan dictatorial regime becomes institutionalized and consolidated, new people will be sent as inmates to join Baransu.

Baransuand#39s being arrested in connection with the Sledgehammer (Balyoz) plot, which is defined by the Supreme Court of Appeals as a coup plan, has been the most concrete sign of how ErdoIan and his cronies — who claim to struggle to promote democracy — can indulge in unethical cooperation with coup perpetrators when they are caught red-handed in stealing and graft. Unlike what some coup lovers and power elites who are thieves try to claim, Baransu was sent to jail not because of a andquotconspiracyandquot or andquotforged evidenceandquot but because the suitcase full of documents he delivered to the prosecutorand#39s office were authentic.

Given the fact that Baransu did not flee even though he had been detained for five times so far and he was expecting to be taken into custody at any time, it is not even funny that one of the grounds cited for his detention is that andquothe may flee [justice].andquotThe fact that hours after he was taken to court, the social media trolls of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) tweeted, andquotThis time, Baransu will be arrested,andquot proves not only that the charges against him are unfounded but that the court is actually nothing but a rubber stamp.

You can be assured that Baransu has been etched into history as a journalist who was jailed upon instructions directly from ErdoIan and his men. Orders, not laws, and instructions, not evidence, were at work regarding Baransuand#39s arrest.

The judges and prosecutors in this process did nothing but play negligible stage performers.Baransu, who doesnand#39t sacrifice his principles despite his arrest — which breaches freedom of the press and freedom of expression — may have been sent to jail unlawfully and arbitrarily but he is certainly the main winner in this from a moral standpoint.

The principal loser is, of course, the ErdoIan dictatorial regime and the voluntary spineless pawns of this regime who undermine peopleand#39s trust in the rule of law and the judiciary. Of course, another loser of this process is the set of so-called journalists who fail to comply with the ethical rules of journalism and most of whom lend support to the oppressive policies of the dictator Even the current management of the Taraf newspaper has become a loser by raising a feeble objection to Baransuand#39s arrest.

As such, Taraf has exposed to daylight that it has lost its former courageous identity.Former leading figures of the Taraf newspaper acted as they should, setting an example about how one should take a stance against oppression and cruelty.

Ahmet Altan, who was the editor-in-chief of the Taraf newspaper at a time when it ran headlines which are currently used as a justification for Baransuand#39s arrest, as well as his assistant, Yasemin ongar, acted like a litmus test that will distinguish real journalists from so-called ones. With their noble and brave attitudes, in a sense they slapped the face of fake journalists.

Ahmet Altanand#39s article, published in the Cumhuriyet newspaper (you can read its English translation in Todayand#39s Zaman), gives us hints about the very source of Tarafand#39s former democratic stance and legendary courage. In his article, Ahmet Altan challenges the vicious tyrants who sent Baransu to jail for his journalistic activities as well as the spineless puppets of the tyrants, and he rightfully asks, andquotHow long have coup plots been described as the and#39documents which are related to the security of the stateand#39 and the and#39stateand#39s confidential informationand#39?andquotInstead of waiting in vain for an answer, he answers it himself: andquotHow long has it been? Of course, since the thieves linked arms with the coup plotters in an effort to escape trial.

. When a ruling party — which was caught red-handed while it was stealing — started to commit crimes which are graver than the theft to escape justice, it decided to go and seek refuge with coup plotters.

And the coup plotters, who were disclosed to the public along with the coup plans they had made, were so afraid that they shamelessly hid behind the guys who they know to be thieves..

Now, they work together to declare those who disclosed their crimes to be guilty.andquotDefying the tyrants, Altan says, andquotFirst, let us clarify the matter,andquot and adds: andquotI am one of the founders of Taraf I managed the newspaper for five years it was me who decided to publish the Balyoz coup plans.

If they were to bring those plans to me 1,000 times over, I would publish them 1,000 times. I detest both the tyranny of the coup plotters and the tyranny of the thieves.

This feeling of mine has never changed and it never will change.andquot Then, he gives another slap: andquotIt was me who published that story and who decided to publish it and who didnand#39t have the slightest suspicion that that Balyoz is not a coup plot.

Now, com and let us discuss whether the Balyoz plans are the and#39stateand#39s confidential informationand#39.andrdquoBeing the writer of the most straightforward, ethical and bravest article Iand#39ve read in recent years, Altan asks questions that expose the hypocrisy of the so-called journalists, the spineless conjurers who are disguised as journalists and the jesters who pose as members of the judiciary or bureaucrats in an effort to curry favor with the double-dealing power elites, as well as the slovenly journalists who are scared to death of themYasemin ongar exhibited a similar attitude, writing a vitriolic article about the so-called grounds cited for Baransuand#39s arrest.

ongar writes: andquot[Baransu] is accused of acquiring information that should have been kept confidential in the interests of the state and national security under Article 327 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Should we now assume that coup preparations are legal and that they should be kept confidential for national security? Should we argue that journalists should simply ignore the right of the people to be properly informed and stay away from documents and evidence showing illegal activities conducted within the state? Does this not mean giving up on journalism? Does this not mean giving up on Article 3 of the Press Law and Article 28 of the Constitution? The justification for the arrest of Baransu confirms the confidentiality of the documents in the Sledgehammer case under Article 327 of the TCK and thus their authenticity.

andquot At the end of her article, she says, andquotWhat we did was journalism, nothing else.andquotongar is right! They did something rarely found in this countryand#39s media sector: They did journalism Therefore, their crimes and sins are great! Now, they pay the price of their sins amid the applause of the vagrants who worship power, be it military or civilian, and the charlatans who pose as journalists and crave fame.

Actually, the price is paid by all citizens who are still fast asleep and who donand#39t want to be put out of countenance. But having sold their sagacity, they are not aware of this.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman