‘Turkey’s clandestine deep state gang takes revenge from prominent journalist and novelist Ahmet Altan’

Jailed Turkish journalist and novelist Ahmet Altan.

Yalçın Ergündoğan, a columnist for online news portal in Turkish, Artı Gerçek, wrote that Turkey’s clandestine deep state gang, Ergenekon, takes revenge from Ahmet Altan, one of the most prominent novelist and journalist of Turkey, who is former editor-in-chief of the now-closed Taraf newspaper.

The Taraf daily ran headlines that led to the Ergenekon and Balyoz coup plot investigations, which helped the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government subdue the role of the military in Turkish politics. After quitting Taraf daily, Altan resumed writing harsh critical columns against the increasingly authoritarian AKP government and autocratic Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

A Turkish prosecutor has demanded aggravated life imprisonment on Monday for Ahmet Altan together his academic, journalist brother Mehmet Altan, journalist Nazlı Ilıcak some other journalists among 17 defendants in the same case, over their alleged links to the Gülen movement during the hearing at the İstanbul 26th High Criminal Court.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the SCF has showed that 256 journalists and media workers are in jails as of December 7, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 230 are arrested pending trial, only 26 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 135 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt.

“He did not bypass the news of the coup attempt that the mainstream media ignored and the news of massacre against the Kurdish people in as well. So, he is still under arrest now…” wrote Ergündoğan.

The full text of Ergündoğan’s article is as follow: 

“I designed the novel as if I was designing a murder. If there’s one thing that’s better than a well-prepared murder, it’s a well-fictionalized novel for me. I believe that there is a terrible resemblance between writing and murder, which is reminiscent of sacred cults’ rituals that the outsiders will never see, both of them oppose the God’s commandments, both of them end a life for the new one that is about to begin, both of them contain the sin, the greatest one.

Like all the other novelists, I am as cold blooded as a murderer; for days, for months I make plans tirelessly, I determine the moment that I’ll strike the final blow without any hurry.

When I start the book, the last line would be ready in my head waiting to explode like a loaded gun. I move slowly toward that moment. I fall into the splendor of loneliness filled various kinds of magical details, by breaking out of the other people, the feeling that you can feel only while committing a murder or writing a novel with horrors, darknesses, creepy pleasures, unexpected surprises, adventures…” (Dangerous Tales, Novel, November 1996, Can Publication)

* * *

He is now in custody. He has been inside for 445 days. He’s a writer, Turkey’s most read, most beloved, leading writer of all whose works translated into many languages. He is a fearless journalist at the same time. Just like his father (Çetin Altan). In the land he lived, he argues that people live happily, tranquilly, peacefully, equally and freely. In order to bring full democracy to Turkey, he struggles for people of this country to get a taste of democracy.

He is the one who has given the most ruthless, courageous struggle against military tutelage, published to the public the news of the coup attempt that “flagship” of the mainstream media ignored when they had, he did not bypass the news of massacre and destruction against the Kurdish people, contrarily he has advanced upon.

As other valuable writers, illustrators, academics, politicians, intellectuals of the country, he is also now in custody. It’s been for 445 days. Easier said than done. Just as I shared in the above quote, Ahmet Altan got the hero of the novel describe ‘the novel authorship’ he also gets the same hero describe “loneliness” as follows:

“My loneliness is not because there is no one around me, I am alone because there is no one that I could share my loneliness with.”

Ahmet Altan, who struggled to gain democracy and to break the yoke of military domination throughout his life, today he is under arrest due to some ridiculous, trumped-up allegations like being a “coup supporter.”

Altan, as in his previous defenses (“If they threaten with torture, put your hand on fire, then speak!..”), has made one of his defense recorded in the history, having documental value, calling to account in last week.


This time, Ahmet Altan, who was tried on charges of “insulting the president” and “propaganda of terrorism”, attended in the trial through sound and vision information technology system (SEGBİS) and appeared before the judge for the first time. Defending himself from notorious Silivri Prison where he was kept, Ahmet Altan was tried in İstanbul 26th High Criminal Court on December 5 due to some expressions in the column entitled “Walking All Over.” Ahmet Altan, by the charge of another case; “coup case”, has faced the judge again on Monday (December 11th) along with his brother Mehmet Altan, journalist Nazlı Ilıcak and four other defendants, as defendants.

In his defense, Ahmet Altan, who expresses with emphasis on the fact that the justice is not itself anymore even if it is formality, stating that he was accused of being a “propagandist of PKK, listed as terror organization following Marxism” and “supporting a religious community called as FETÖ(FETÖ is a pejorative acronym that Turkey’s political Islamist government has used to smear the civic Gülen movement) in the same court because of his writing entitled “Walking All Over”, said that the court did not find the situation to be cognitive contradiction by accepting both indictments.

Let’s come together read the following part of Ahmet Altan’s defense in the taste of a literary work:

“… Imagine an article that insults the president, makes propaganda of the PKK, supports a religious community accused of trying to seize control of the state, and carries out a military coup as well.

What an article…

Such an article can not be easily found in neither literature history nor law history. I think we should open this article to the world tourism.

Let them come and see such an article.

Because, an article that strikes four different targets at the same time like a multi-headed guided missile can not be seen anywhere else in the world.

Once if you come out of reasoning, the oddities do not end anymore… The strangeness of the claims about this article does not end so soon.

In this article, I am accused of making propaganda of the PKK for saying “child” to the ditch diggers in the Sur district of Diyarbakır province.

But at the same time, according to another claim I am in the same military coup with the general who bombed the Sur neighborhoods and killed those “children”.

I will be judged here after five days of plotting coup with that general.

When we look at the prosecutors’ allegations, I supported both sides of the conflicts in Sur according to this article.

I’m with the general and with the PKK as well.

Look, it’s not a case that could be found easily.

There is a conflict, and I take participation on both sides of this conflict with my article.

Is there any logical consistency of these absurd and nonsensical allegations?

No, of course.

It is also seen with these examples that our judicial system has been thoroughly severed from reasoning and reality. It’s traveling in a world beyond reality.

I can now also be judged due to that I stole Cinderella’s shoe, collaborated with the the wolf who ate the Little Red Riding Hood, kidnapped the Snow White and conspired with the Talking Rabbit.

Everything is possible in a system that is broken away from the living discipline of logic and wallowed to the slime of the absurdity.

So why are we seeing this rubbish?

The answer is loud and clear.

We are face to face with a power, which tries to silence and punish every criticism of today’s political power.

Because they are unable to find a serious crime to punish the opposing writers, they are wallowing in the slime of nonsense and making up strange crimes different from each other without law or logic.

This effort is dragging the jurisdiction to a nonsensical ridiculousness.

A judgment can be everything but it can not be ridiculous.

The justice getting ridiculous would die.” 

* * *

Yes, as Ahmet Altan emphasizes, there is a power trying to silence and punish everybody criticizing the government. One of the main elements of the coalition that created this power was; “Ergenekon…” restored the honor.

It is so obvious that; the things happening to Ahmet Altan clearly a revenge!..

The note on the profile picture of the former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, who is the center of the bribery confessions, attached to his social media accounts; the best summary of the environment created by the ‘vengeful’ coalition holding the power is: “La Tahzen! İnallahe Meana. Do not be sad! Because Allah is with us -Tawba 40-” 

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