His last piece was not published and he took it to Hürriyet Daily News to print. He narrates how he began to write at Today’s Zaman. His case may be read as another sign of Islamic front’s insincerity. Now that we have enough power, we can leave our liberal allies behind…
It was a bit over three years ago that I was recruited to write this column for this newspaper (Today?s Zaman). I remember the conversation well. The editor-in-chief anticipated that I might be hesitant to associate myself with a press group whose prejudices and principles might not always coincide with my own. He explained what I knew already, that the Zaman Group supported and was supported by the Fetullah Gülen Community and that I would have to take that on board. However, he explained the paper’s mission was to fight for the democratization of Turkish society ? that Turkey was no longer a country which should be ruled by military fiat. He also impressed upon me that he was committed to liberal values and to free discussion. And then, of course, he flattered me by saying that mine was a voice which the target audience of Today?s Zaman would want to hear. What helped me to make up my mind was the presence of columnists whose reputations I respected and whose standard of integrity had got them into trouble in other ?corners? of the Turkish media. Continue to read
Andrew Finkel is as earnest and insightful a journalist as one might wish. He has lived in Turkey for many years and knows Turkey very well. Andrew Finkel knows what?s what. He?s also, by the way, a generous, kind and companionable person who has been very good to me, a near stranger, introducing me to people and answering my sometimes last-minute questions. He always seemed to keep his equanimity and perspective, not easy to do in a country as aggressively polarized as Turkey is these days. For several years, he has written for Today?s Zaman. He explains his rationale for doing so in the attached essay. His view was similar to mine
The recent firing by the Today’s Zaman newspaper of one of its top columnists, Andrew Finkel, for doing his job — which is to write smart, questioning pieces that push forward the conversation on important and difficult issues — should be cause for great concern for anyone who cares about the development of an independent and democratic press in Turkey.