’Turkey facing a civil coup staged by gov’t with Ipek Media takeover’

Deier andOzergin, the former editor-in-chief of the Millet daily who was dismissed from his position by pro-government trustees assigned by a court to take over the management of the ipek Media Group via a police raid on the groupand’s headquarters in Istanbul on Wednesday, said Turkey has faced the worst-ever pressure over the media in its history which he defined as a andquotcivil coup by the government.andquot
Speaking to Todayand’s Zaman in an exclusive interview on Thursday, andOzergin, who was managing the Millet daily with a circulation of 50,000, stressed that despite the fact that he and the other journalists working for the daily were expecting a group of trustees to come to the media groupand’s headquarters to take over the media outlets, they never expected such a violent police crackdown on the employees and those gathered in front of the building to show solidarity with the group.
andquotHundreds of police broke into the building and they were full of hatred and anger for us as though we are not the sons of these lands. We faced a very hostile reception from the police. All our efforts to communicate with the police chiefs who were conducting the hate operation were rebuffed. With this stance, they have demonstrated they are implementing the instructions of former Interior Minister Efkan Ala, who called on the police and’to break the doors and take people.and’ Our workers were at the receiving end of police violence as several of them were injured,andquot andOzergin said.
The trustees headed directly towards the Bugandun TV broadcast room to take the channel off the air, he said, revealing the hostile nature of the takeover ruling. andquotThe whole world watched their unlawful entry into the main room to cut the broadcast for hours. The journalists were treated as though they are petty criminals instead of working to serve sacred values such as peopleand’s right to information,andquot andOzergin further stated.
andOzergin emphasized that the whole process from start to finish has been an instance of a civil coup carried out by the government, adding: andquotThis is a clear instance of unlawful confiscation. No media group in the countryand’s history has faced such a brutal intervention. All processes of the seizure from top to bottom are unlawful and an obvious breach of the Constitution. When the trustees, along with the police, arrived in our building they had no official document to justify their intervention. The official document noting the ruling for a takeover reached us at 12:01 p.m. However, the police raided the building at around 6 a.m.and”
h2 and’Even trustee was not aware of assignment until last dayand’h2 andOzergin mentioned a conversation with Handudayi Bal, one of the trustees who came to the headquarters, in which Bal told andOzergin he was not aware of his assignment until the very last day.
andquotHe [Bal] was called at night by a police chief from the National Police Departmentand’s organized crime unit asking him to come to the unit early in the morning. It proves how the decision to seize the media group was made in a mad rush and conducted carelessly. In response to his remarks, I told Bal Millet is a daily that features independent views and it will never bow to any pressure from the trustees in changing the editorial policy of the daily,andquot andOzergin underlined.
Speaking on the struggle to print the Thursday edition of Millet, andOzergin said while the trustees were busy silencing Bugandun TV and trying to stop its broadcast, the dailyand’s editorial team completed all the pages of the daily at around 3 p.m. and sent the printing blocks to the printing facilities owned by the Ciner Media Group, but the daily was not printed. The trustees had already instructed the Ciner group not to print the daily.
Later, andOzergin and his team contacted the Dogan Media Group who came to an agreement but the group later informed andOzergin at the mast minute they were unable to print the paper. However, the dailyand’s editorial board did not give up and as a result of a deal with certain local printing facilities, the Thursday edition of Millet was printed and published.

SOURCE: TODAYS ZAMAN