Mezopotamya Women Journalists' Platform and Free Journalists Initiative made a statement for the press in front of the Özgür Ülke (Free Country) newspaper, which was bombed 24 years ago today (December 3).
Gathering in front of the bombed building of the newspaper, journalists opened a banner which read, "Free press cannot be silenced" and carried the photographs of the journalists who lost their lives in the bombing.
Speaking at the statement for the press, Spokesperson of the Mezopotamya Journalists' Platform Ayşe Güney stated that no progress has been made in the investigation launched into the bombing for 24 years.
"35 more newspapers came out after Özgür Ülke"
Reminding that "35 more newspapers following the tradition of free press have come out after Özgür Ülke newspaper", Güney stated,
"While some of these newspapers were closed in a few days, some others were closed in a few weeks. Lastly, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi (Libertarian Democracy) newspaper was closed as per the ruling of the İstanbul 8th Penal Court of Peace on March 28, 2018.
"When the newspaper was raided by police officers and the trustee accompanying them, a trustee was also appointed to the Gün Printing House, where the newspaper was printed, and its employees were arrested."
Eren: "Attitude to journalists has not changed"
Making a statement after Ayşe Güney, Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) Press Union Chair Faruk Eren said,
"It is a sad day, a sad period for journalists. Tens of our friends have been in prisons. There are thousands of lawsuits filed against our journalist friends. The attitude to journalists has still not changed. Tens of journalists from Abdi İpekçi to Uğur Mumcu, from Musa Anter to Metin Göktepe, from Kadri Bağdu to Hrant Dink have been massacred."
Keskin: "This tradition will live on"
Human Rights Association (İHD) Co-Chair Eren Keskin also said,
"Several of its columnists, newspaper distributors have been massacred, but, this tradition has not ended. This tradition has still been living on. It is an example of a journalism which has set out to publicize the forbidden sorrows and forbidden memories of a forbidden geography. And this tradition has suffered serious pressure for that reason."
Hamzaoğlu: "It will be too late in the future"
Co-Spokesperson of Peoples' Democratic Congress (HDK) Onur Hamzaoğlu also emphasized that Özgür Ülke newspaper "was attacked by the ones who could not stand the free press" and underlined that "free press is necessary not only for us, but also for all peoples of this country."
Oluç: "We have grown and increased in number"
In his speech, Spokesperson of Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and İstanbul MP Saruhan Oluç stressed that the attack that was carried out 24 years ago did not become successful and added,
"If there is free press, then, it means there is an opportunity for change in the future. That is why, they started that fire 24 years ago. That fire burned them as well. But, we have grown and increased in number."
On December 3, 1994, Özgür Ülke newspaper technical headquarters located in İstanbul's Kadırga district, central office in Cağaloğlu and bureau in Ankara were bombed.
The incident left transport worker Ersin Yıldız (32) and 23 workers wounded.
Following the incident, the newspaper could only run with the solidarity of other socialist newspapers with Özgür Ülke staff working in their offices.
On December 4, 1993, the newspaper was published with 4 pages with the headline "This Fire Could Burn You As Well".
Around 15 days after the bombing, Özgür Ülke newspaper published an article about a top secret document signed by then-PM Tansu Çiller.
The document cited the following with direct reference to the newspaper:
"The activities of media outlets supporting the separatist and annihilating [organizations] has recently turned into an overt threat against the future of the [Turkish] state and its moral values. In order to wipe out this threat against the unity of country and nation, precautions need to be taken..."
Related bianet News
21 YEARS AFTER ÖZGÜR ÜLKE DAILY BOMBING Having Lost His Life in Bombing, Yıldız Commemorated 04 December 2015Özgür Ülke daily had been bombed 21 years ago. Ersin Yıldız who lost ...
20 Years of Impunity in Özgür Ülke Newspaper Bombing 03 December 2014Özgür Ülke newspaper has been bombed 20 years ago. “There is neither the ...
Most Read Today
GREENPEACE MEDITERRANEAN STATEMENT ON HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 'Climate Change Greatest Threat to Human Rights' 10 December 2018
Erdoğan: No One Can Lecture Us on Human Rights Anymore 10 December 2018
Investigation Launched Against Signatories of Afrin Letter 10 December 2018
Statement for Arrested Student of Journalism 10 December 2018
STATEMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS DAY ‘State of Emergency Made Permanent’ 10 December 2018