Two journalists, one of whom is currently in jail on charges of membership in the Ergenekon network, were acquitted on Friday in a case in which they were accused of violating the secrecy of the Ergenekon investigation.
As journalists Ahmet Şık and Ertuğrul Mavioğlu appeared before a panel of judges in İstanbul's Kadıköy district, a group of demonstrators, comprising mainly journalists, marched to the courthouse in a show of support for their colleagues.
In their two-volume book, "40 Mules or 40 Choppers, A Guide to Understand Ergenekon" Şık and Mavioğlu were accused of "violating the confidentiality of an investigation" into Ergenekon, a clandestine gang accused of plotting to overthrow the government.
The protesting journalists gathered under such banners as "We will touch even if we are burnt," "Free press cannot be muzzled," "Ahmet will be out and write again" and "Ahmet and Nedim stand for our dignity."
Şık is currently in an İstanbul prison because of another book he wrote, titled "İmamın Ordusu" (The Imam's Army). The book, which alleges there are links between the Turkish police and the Fethullah Gülen movement, was never published. Prosecutors called for his detention on charges of membership in the Ergenekon gang, which is believed to have conspired to topple the government.
Demonstrators demanded Şık's release. Gürsel Tekin, deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), who also was present at the demonstration, criticized Şık's incarceration, saying it was related to the unpublished book that he wrote. "It is unprecedented that a person is detained because of an unpublished book," he said.
Journalist Ruşen Çakır, who read out a press statement on behalf of the demonstrators, also criticized Şık's detention, saying he stands accused of membership in the same organization he had attempted to analyze in an earlier book, which landed him in court on charges of violating the secrecy of the investigation. "The allegation that he is a member of Ergenekon is against human conscience and intelligence," he said.
Cihan news agencyGüncelleme Tarihi: 13 Mayıs 2011, 17:41