Eleven homes in Istanbul and Ankara were raided by the police on Thursday (3 March). Several people were taken into custody: Journalists Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener, writer Yalçın Küçük, Oda TV Co-ordinator Doğan Yurdakul, journalist Sait Çakır, Oda TV Ankara representative Mümtaz İdil and police officer Aydın Bıyıklı. Moreover, the homes of Oda TV writers İklim Kaleli Bayraktar and Müyesser Uğur Yıldız and former National Intelligence Agency (MİT) member Kaşif Kozinoğlu were searched.
When journalist Ahmet Şık was taken into custody he shouted, "The ones who touch [the subject] get burned". Şık's lawyer Bülent Utku said that his client was not going to give a statement at the police but at the prosecution. Also the office of the HaberVesaire ('News et cetera') website was searched by the police. Şık had worked as an editor for the website that is publishing under the roof of the Bilgi University Communication Faculty.
Lawyer Utku argued, "My client was taken into custody because of a book he wrote about the organization within the congregation of Fethullah Gülen. He was thinking about 'The Imam's Army' as a title for the book".
Şık, also writing for bianet, published the "coup diaries" by ret. Naval Forces Commander Admiral Özden Örnek in the Nokta magazine, an outline of different coup plans. Together with journalist Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, he wrote two books on the Ergenekon trial as guide books to understand the Ergenekon investigation and the related trial procedures. Both journalists are on trial for the two volumes. It was reported that drafts of Şık's latest book which has not gone into print yet was found on the computers of OdaTV, an internet news portal whose office was searched by the police last week.
Journalist Şener in custody
Journalist and writer Nedim Şener was taken into police custody after both his home in Bakırköy (Istanbul) and his car had been searched. When he was made to enter the police vehicle, he shouted "For Hrant, for justice", referring to Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink who was killed in 2007. The health condition of Şener's wife, who underwent surgery last week, worsened upon her husband's being taken into police custody and she had to be taken to hospital again.
In a writing published in the Posta newspaper on 17 February, Şener wrote, "They said 'it's your turn now'". The article was entitled "A journalist can call someone to account and can render account" It read:
"They took in Soner Yalçın as well... Ever since it became clear that the ones who were responsible for the Hrant Dink murder and negligent about it are the police officers carrying out the Ergenekon investigation, their warnings for me have not stopped. And now they say, 'It is your turn now. We told Soner before, look what happened. Do you have your suitcase ready, brother? Do you have a warm pyjama and your woollen underwear ready?' How appalling!".
Book about Dink murder; police "upset"
Şener has been working for the nation-wide Milliyet newspaper since 1994. He is facing 28 years in prison in a trial on his book "The Dink murder and the Intelligence lies".
In his latest book entitled "Red Friday, who broke Dink's pen?" Şener reveals secret information on the murder of journalist Dink, founder of the Armenian Agos newspaper. The documents published in the book prove that the MİT and the Police had notice of the preceding death threats against Dink.
Home of divorced wife searched too
Writer Prof. Yalçın Küçük, a defendant of the Ergenekon trial, was taken into custody as well after a raid on his homes in Ankara and Istanbul, his office, his car and the home of his ex-wife Temren Küçük he divorced years ago.
Küçük was arrested on 11 January 2009 in the scope of the Ergenekon investigation under allegations of membership of a terrorist organization. He was released 12 days later. It was reported that he gave a seminar to the employees of the Oda TV news portal during their weekly meeting.
Ergenekon is a clandestine ultra-nationalist terrorist organization charged with plotting to overthrow the government by creating chaos and disorder in the country. The organization is nested within the state and the military and the related trial is one of the major cases currently tired in Turkey. (AS/EÖ/VK)