Can Dundar Biography Can Dundar Wiki
A Turkish court on Wednesday convicted the former editor of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet in a 2015 article for espionage and terrorism. A judgment by the exiled journalist illustrates the pressure exerted on the Turkish media.
The Istanbul court found Can Dundar guilty “of obtaining secret documents for espionage” and of “knowingly and willfully supporting a terrorist organization without being a member”. He was sentenced to 27.5 years in prison.
‘This is a political decision, a vendetta,’ Can Dundar told @AFP after a Turkish court sentenced the exiled reporter to more than 27 years in jail for a story about alleged arms shipments to Syrian rebelshttps://t.co/HsSKfxJdas pic.twitter.com/N4N5HRJPwt
— Dmitry Zaks (@dmitryzaksAFP) December 23, 2020
Dundar fled to Germany in 2016 and was tried in absentia. His lawyers said the trial failed to meet due process and fairness standards and that they did not attend Wednesday’s trial in protest.
In an interview with The Associated Press in his Berlin office, Dundar called the verdict “the President’s personal decision to discourage journalists from writing against him.”
Dundar was first charged in 2015 and tried and convicted in 2016 for a Cumhuriyet article accusing Turkish intelligence services of illegally sending weapons to Syria. Wednesday’s verdict came on his retrial.
The story included a 2014 video of men in police uniform and in civilian clothes loosening screws to open trucks and unpack boxes. The photos below show trucks full of mortar shells. The AP cannot confirm the authenticity of the video.
The report said the Turkish secret service and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had not authorized a prosecutor to conduct an investigation into the arms trade.
The story angered Erdogan, who said the trucks were providing aid to Turkmen groups in Syria and that Dundar would “pay a heavy price”. The head of the Ankara office in Cumhuriyet, Erdem Gul. He was also prosecuted in the first trial.
Turkey then intervened directly in the Syrian civil war and launched four cross-border operations.
Reporters Without Borders ranked Turkey 154th out of 180 countries in its 2020 press freedom index. Dundar said the court ruling could have an additional chilling effect.
“The problem is that there is a cloud of fear over the country, so these decisions may prevent some journalists in Turkey from writing against the government, from writing about the truth,” he said.
“There are still courageous journalists defending the truth in Turkey, but I hope the world now sees much better what kind of government we are fighting against,” he added.
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted: “The ruling against Can Dundar is a blow to independent journalistic work in Turkey.”
“Journalism is an indispensable service to society, even though it criticizes what government officials do,” he said.
Dundar has been accused of supporting the network of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Muslim cleric who is accused by the Turkish government of plotting a failed coup in 2016. Gulen denies the allegations and remains in Pennsylvania.
Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu reported that upon reaching the verdict, the Istanbul court said the 2015 report aimed to portray Turkey as a “country that supports terrorism” nationally and internationally. . The court said the information helped Gulen’s network, which also used the story in its posts.
Dundar and Gul were arrested in 2015 and spent three months in detention. In 2016, a court sentenced them to five to six years in prison for “obtaining and disclosing secret documents intended to be used for espionage”. Dundar was attacked in court on the day of the trial.
After Dundar appealed the conviction, the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the decision in 2018 and ordered a new trial with harsher sentences. The new process started in 2019.
The Dundar property in Turkey is currently confiscated. Stay rebellious.
“I am here, I work as a journalist and I am no longer afraid,” he told the AP. “Because I was attacked by gunmen in Turkey because of this news (he reports), I am now in exile, all our assets are confiscated. What else can you do?”