Turkish intellectuals launch signature campaign against media suppression

175 Turkish intellectuals have prepared a joint declaration titled ‘Nazi Germany 2015’ criticizing the government-backed operations against the free press which began with the December 17-25, 2013 corruption probes and have continued on through Tuesday’s raid against İpek Media Holding.

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On Wednesday 175 prominent Turkish intellectuals, academics, journalists and even several former Justice and Development (AK Party) MPs and a cabinet minister have penned a joint declaration titled ‘Nazi Germany 2015’ and posted it on the petition website Change.org with the tag ‘Sign to Support Free Press.’

The signature campaign comes the day after teams from the Finance Ministry’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK), complete with police escort and a flimsy 4-page search warrant in hand, raided İpek Media Group and its parent company Koza İpek Holding.

Turkish dailies Bugün and Millet, channels Bugün TV and Kanaltürk and English-language website BGNNews.com all belong to the İpek Media Group.

The petition noted that with Erdoğan’s hopes of establishing a one-man regime dashed, the December 17th and 25th, 2013 corruption probes implicating the inner circle of the government were now on the verge of being unraveled, “and so the final act of the play has begun.”

It pointed out that on September 1st, World Peace Day, the offices of Koza İpek Holding as well as the home of the corporation’s owner Akın İpek had been raided on the grounds that they ‘financed terrorist activity.’

The petition underlined the irony that İpek Media was raided on allegations of ‘supporting a criminal organization’ the same day its Bugün daily ran a story uncovering weapons being delivered to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) under the auspices of customs officials.

Similarly, Erdoğan had personally threatened daily Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar for his newspaper uncovering arms being delivered to the extremist groups in Syria by state officials, with the government currently seeking 2 life sentences plus 42 years in prison for Dündar on charges of ‘disseminating state secrets and espionage.’

Pointing out that next in line, starting with Doğan Group, are other corporations and independent media organs (Taraf, Cumhuriyet, Sözcü) “who have yet to bow to the administration.”

“This movie has been seen before. German pastor Martin Niemöller, once a supporter of the Nazi Party who had intially believed their promises, wrote in 1946:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

We might not have seen this movie, we might not have lived it, but we know it well. We will not let it happen to Turkey.”

The signatories on the list include:

Necati Abay, Haldun Açıksözlü, Kadir Akın, Mahmut Akpınar, Murat Aksoy, Kamil Aksoylu, Ayhan Aktar, Cengiz Aktar, Hüseyin Alataş, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Şahin Alpay, Mehmet Altan, Garbis Altınoğlu, Ali Halit Arslan, Bülent Atamer, Sabri Atman, Yıldız Aydın, Erkam Tufan Aytav, Ergun Babahan, Hayko Bağdat, Nivart Bakırcıoğlu, Türkan Balaban, İrem Barutçu, Fikret Başkaya, Özgür Başkaya, Erhan Başyurt, Ayşe Batumlu, Sennur Baybuğa, Oya Baydar, Yavuz Baydar, Rıdvan Bilek, Abdülhamit Bilici, Akın Birdal, Hale Bolak, Hasan Burgucuoğlu, Abud Can, Mahmut Cantekin, Hasan Cemal, Orhan Kemal Cengiz, Perihan Çakıroğlu, Koray Çalışkan, Cengiz Çandar, Tuba Çandar, Tuma Çelik, Sait Çetinoğlu Hatice Çevik, Tamar Çıtak, Kemal Çiçek, Sinan Çiftyürek, Tamer Çilingir, Mustafa Çolak, Mehmet Demirok, Fatma Dikmen, Atilla Dirim, Erdal Doğan, Ekrem Dumanlı, Can Dündar, Neşe Düzel, Murad Ekmekçioğlu, Aydın Engin, Alev Er, Füsun Erdoğan, Muzaffer Erdoğdu, Abdulbaki Erdoğmuş, Doğu Ergil, Yalçın Ergündoğan, Mehmet Erkek, Oktay Etiman, Mehveş Evin, Şebnem Korur Fincancı, İnan Gedik, Adnan Genç, Ramazan Gezgin, Gül Gökbulut, Ali Gökkaya, Nuh Gönültaş, İştar Gözaydın, Mehmet Güç, Kazım Gündoğan, Selçuk Gültaşlı, Ertuğrul Günay, Hasan Gürelliler, Seyfettin Gürsel, Jozef Hadodo, Garbis Hatemo, İnci Hekimoğlu, Memik Horuz, Ayşe Hür, Aykut Işıklar, Nazlı Ilıcak, Şaban İba, Ercan İpekçi, Erdal Kalkan, Ercan Kanar, Yusuf Kanlı, Eser Karakaş, Ümit Kardaş, Hasan Kaya, Feyaz Kerimo, Eren Keskin, Ferhat Kentel, Suat Kınıklıoğlu, Ahmet Hulusi Kırım, Emre Kocaoğlu, Serdar Koçman, Mahmut Konuk, Adnan Challma Kulhan, Murat Kuseyri, Ergun Kuzenk, Ömer Laçiner, Ömer Madra, Recep Maraşlı, Faruk Mercan, Nuray Mert, Erkan Metin, Özcan Metin, Nil Mutluer, Yavuz Oğhan, Adil Okay, Baskın Oran, Sadettin Orhan, Yener Orkunoğlu, Garabet Orunöz, Orhan Oğuz, Niyazi Öktem, Pınar Ömeroğlu, Hüsnü Öndül, Osman Özarslan, Bilal Özcan, Haluk Özdalga, Mehmet Özer, Değer Özergün, Doğan Özgüden, A.Hicri İzgören, Kermo Reada, Bekir Reyhan, Cafer Solgun, İnci Tuğsavul, Mümtar’er Türköne, Erkan Saka, Suzan Samancı, Meral Saraçseven, Vecdi Sayar, İbrahim Seven, Özcan Soysal, Hanna Beth-Sawoce, Nora Şeni, Güngör Şenkal, Zeynep Tanbay, Ömer Taşpınar, Bülent Tekin, Ali Tezel, Gönül Tol, Tarık Toros, Zeynep Tozduman, Mesut Tufan, Attila Tuygan, Ira Tzourou, Mehmet Uluışık, Ferhan Umuk, Cemal Uşşak, Nadya Uygun, Mihail Vasiliadis, David Vergili, Süleyman Yaşar, Erdal Yavuz, Kenan Yenice, Mustafa Yeşil, Derya Yetişgen, Mustafa Yetişgen, Yasin Yetişgen, Elif Yıldırım, Erdal Yıldırım, Mehmet Yılmaz, Şanar Yurdatapan, Bozkurt Kemal Yücel, Hakan Yücel, Ramazan Zengin, Hasan Zeydan, Gün Zileli.

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