Law enforcement officials Sunday detained journalist İbrahim Çiçek in Istanbul, journalist Ziya Ulusoy in the Black Sea province of Samsun and Ali Hıdır Polat, an advisor to the head of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP,) in the Aegan province of İzmir on terrorism related charges.
Çiçek was the Chief Editor of Atılım magazine, an advisor to the ESP's chair and an executive board member of the People's Democratic Congress (HDK,) while Ulusoy was also an advisor to the ESP's chair and a member of the HDK in Parliament's Constitution Commission.
Authorities had released Çiçek, Ulusoy and Polat on May 17, 2011, after they had remained under arrest for five years.
"Anti-Terror Law and specially authorized courts an impediment before progress"
"[Authorities] keep detaining and arresting journalists, writers, students, thousands of Kurdish and socialist politicians on baseless charges, such as making propaganda for a terrorist organization, [or] holding membership in them and leading them," Necati Abay said in a written statement he issued on behalf of the Platform for Solidarity with Arrested Journalists (TGDD.)
We are once more facing up against another vintage case pertaining to the Anti-Terror Law, he added.
"The Anti-Terror Law and specially authorized courts, [the offspring] of State Security Courts and the martial law courts [of the Sept.12, 1980 coup], which the [ruling] Justice and Development Party (AKP) clings on to with its heart and soul, constitute the reason why Turkey leads the world in the number of arrested journalists," Abay said.
Not an inch of progress can be made with respect to the freedoms of press, thought, expression, assembly and association unless the Anti-Terror Law and specially authorized courts are abolished, according to Abay.
"The media depicted them as targets"
A news story that appeared on the pro-government daily Yeni Şafak on Jan. 14, 2012 also depicted Çiçek, Ulusoy and Polat as high-ranking leaders of an outlawed left-wing organization, Abay's statement said and stressed that the three detainees were advisors to the ESP's chairwoman Figen Yüksekdağ and not members of an illegal organization.
The statement concluded with a call for the release of the three detainees and all persons and institutions that support human rights to back them. (EKN)