Yet another trial was opened against Radikal newspaper reporter İsmail Saymaz. He is facing a TL 7,000 (€3,500) compensation claim filed by Osman Şanal, Prosecutor of Erzurum (central Analtolia) on the grounds of his book "The Postmodern Jihad". The book deals with the Erzurum-Erzincan connections of the Ergenekon investigation. Şanal was appointed "Press Prosecutor' after his special authority had been lifted. He was described as a "supporter of postmodernism" in Saymaz's book.
Meanwhile, journalist Saymaz has a total of 12 trials pending against him and faces up to 97 years in jail in total. At the same time, the Erzurum Special Authority Public Prosecutor has launched another investigation into his book.
Complainant called a "Supporter of postmodernism"...
Şanal's lawyer Osman Sallı submitted his client's petition to the Ankara Magistrate Law Court on Duty on 14 October. The petition put forward an attack on Şanal's personal rights in certain passages of the book.
It read, "The complainant's reputation within his family and circle of friends was harmed by the book on subject that was printed and published and is currently on sale in bookstores all over the country. The defendant as the author of the book entitled 'The Postmodern Jihad' humiliated the complainant by describing him as a supporter of postmodernism and depicting him as a person who is performing the jihad [...]".
The lawyer claimed that Şanal's activities as part of his regular duty were mentioned in the book under different headings and in a distorted perspective. This, according to lawyer Sallı, harmed the prosecutor's professional success and his reputation.
In a statement made to the nation-wide Radikal newspaper, Prof. İclal Ergenç, Head of the Linguistics Department of the Ankara University Language History and Geography Faculty, explained that the word 'postmodern' did not imply any kind of insult. "It means the period that follows modernism. It is not a humiliating term", the academic said.
12 trials pending
Saymaz is tried in twelve different cases. For his article on technical listening equipment he is sued by Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court President Köksal and Kadır Özbek, Vice President of the Judges and Prosecutors Supreme Council (HSYK) for instance. Furthermore, Saymaz stands trial for reporting about Ergenekon defendant Engin Aydın's statement at the prosecution and for his writings concerned with the interrogation of Erzincan Public Chief Prosecutor İlhan Cihaner and former Deputy Head of the Special Operations Office İbrahim Şahin.
The cases are based on charges of "insult", "violation of the secrecy of an investigation" and the "attempt to influence a fair trial" according to articles 125, 285 and 288 of the Turkish Criminal Law (TCK) respectively.
The Ergenekon organization is a clandestine terrorist organization charged with various crimes staged for the ultimate purpose of triggering a military coup. A total of 270 people, including 116 military officers and 6 journalists, are charged under seven separate indictments with plotting to overthrow the government and instigating armed riots.