In support of "Cumhuriyet"


Dear friends and colleagues,

The editorial staff of the UTE online magazine "Conflict Zones Reviews" stands behind the journalists of "Cumhuriyet" in Istanbul and all journalist who have been dismissed by a government.

Please read our translated excerpt from yesterday's article written by Yavuz Baybar for the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

For French click here.

For Italian click here.

Ruth Heynen

Sergio Lo Gatto

Lisa Klien

Before the Showdown

The EU must decide how they will deal with the new Turkey

By Yavuz Baydar

"Oh, guys, please save the archives before they are deleted!” Strangely enough, that was one of the first thoughts to go through my head on Monday morning. I had turned off my cell phone when I got into bed, only to be confronted with a new terror: "Cumhuriyet has been destroyed! Many colleagues in police custody!” The arrests made me shiver. A deep sense of sadness, desperation. Now Cumhuriyet was next. One of the three truly gritty newspapers in the country, whose history was as old as the Republic. One last holdout of independent journalism.

It’s pointless to speculate about the motive behind the police raid. It was, to make use of a grotesque comparison, as if one were to sue the Washington Post for committing crimes in the name of the Ku-Klux-Klan and the Black Panthers at the same time. Then my thought about the digital archive came back to me. “Hopefully they have a backup copy.” In regards to the magnitude and manner of the raid, there was no doubt that the AKP (Justice and Development Party) would appoint an authority to seize control of day-to-day business and dismiss the editors. The final goal being, as has become common practice, the deletion of the digital archive. Everything, the whole memory, would be dispatched into oblivion.

Exactly one year ago, as systematic attacks against the media grew and as the firing and arrests of lone journalists turned into assaults on entire media companies, many of us were there. It affected the weekly magazine Nokta, which as a brand had a reputation similar to that of Der Spiegel, and their competitor Aksiyon. The digital archives of both are history. The daily newspaper Taraf was hit, whose former editor Ahmet Altan has spent the last 45 days in jail and whose valuable archive also no longer exists. The daily newspaper Zaman, affiliated with the Gülen movement, had to watch as their 30-year-old archive evaporated into thin air.

Excerpt from the article by Yavuz Baydar print edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, 4 November 2016, page 11