Ankara Trying to ‘Destroy Journalists,’ Says Reporter

Nedim Şener

ISTANBUL (Hurriyet Daily News)—One of the journalists recently arrested in connection with an alleged coup plot said he was targeted before, accusing the government in a letter to his family of trying to “destroy journalists like us.”

“[My arrest] has no direct connection with the latest TV debates [about which I was questioned]. Apparently they were going to involve me in this kind of operation anyway,” journalist Nedim Şener wrote in a letter to his wife and eight-year-old daughter. “Because they have decided to destroy journalists like us and it looks like this process will continue.”

Şener also said in his letter that he was targeted two years ago with a fake e-mail. Daily Milliyet previously reported that police received an e-mail May 6, 2009, from a person identified only as M. Yılmaz, alleging that Şener had a “secret mission in the propaganda unit of Ergenekon,” an alleged gang accused of plotting to topple the government.

Both Şener and another Turkish reporter, Ahmet Şık, were arrested Sunday following raids on their homes and those of other journalists as part of the ongoing probe into the alleged Ergenekon gang. Şener wrote the letter to his family, and a separate one to his colleagues at daily Milliyet, from Metris Prison, where he was taken after he was arrested, the paper reported. He was later transferred to Silivri Prison.

During the questioning following his detention, Şener said he was asked about many past events, largely from the era between 2003 and 2006. He said the prosecutor even asked him about a question Şener had posed to former Police Chief Adil Serdar Saçan during a TV program broadcast in 2007.

Daily Milliyet reported on March 6 that Şener’s phones had been wiretapped since 2009.

The mother of the other arrested journalist has meanwhile spoken out about the case, saying, “If something happens to my son, I will burn myself,” Milliyet reported.

The parents of Ahmet Şık, who live in Antalya, said they are very concerned about their son’s condition and what is going on in Turkey. “I gave my brother as a martyr before the 1980 military coup. Now I will not give my son,” said Şık’s mother, Fatma Şık, a retired civil servant.

“The prime minister says he has no information; the president says he is concerned about the latest arrests. If something happens to my son, I will burn myself,” she said.


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