The trial of journalists Ahmet Şık, Nedim Sener, Soner Yalcin and Yalcin Kucuk and former Security Director Hanefi Avci has begun in Istanbul.
Journalists were not allowed to watch the trial as the courtroom was adjudged to be ‘too small’. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) representative in Turkey, Erol Onderoglu, criticised this practice and said it was aimed at preventing journalists from observing the trial.
Journalist Ahmet Şık has been detained for 46 days on allegations of ‘making propaganda for terrorist organisations’ in his articles and social media posts.
Ahmet Şık, whose unpublished book landed him in solitary confinement for a year by prosecutors loyal to the Gulenist movement in 2011, is now being detained on charges of membership of the ‘Gulenist Terrorist Organisation’ (FETO), Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).
Ahmet Şık wrote in his much-debated book, ‘The Army of the Imam‘, that the Turkish government and the Gulenist movement were collaborating for the destruction of the army-based Kemalist governmental system and the status quo to replace it with what some call ‘political Islam’.
Now, he himself is being accused of being a member of ‘FETO’.
“I could also be arrested again in the future should there ever be a trial for being a member of RETO (Recep Tayyip Erdoganist Terrorist Organisation)”, he said. He also warned that “Any devious trick can be employed in Turkey to give ‘yes’ votes a nudge. Any trap can be set up. Everyone must be vigilant.”
He stressed the similarities between Turkey and the country of George Orwell’s distopic book 1984. He said that President Erdogan and his supporters had undertaken a spectacular coup against the parliament, one which last year’s coup-plotters were envious of.
He said in his statement at the courthouse that Erdogan was the one that needed to be prosecuted instead of them because he was the one who allowed for the Gulenist movement to organise in the government and the army for years.