Turkey’s daily Cumhuriyet fires columnist Nuray Mert over ideological differences

Nuray Mert

Academic Nuray Mert has been fired from the Cumhuriyet daily, for which she has been writing columns since April 2015, for not complying with the pro-Atatürk and secularist line of the newspaper, t24 reported on Wednesday.

The decision was relayed Mert by Orhan Erinç, chairman of the executive board of the Cumhuriyet Foundation.

“Orhan Erinç said the decision was made with the consent of the editors of the daily who are in Silivri Prison,” Mert, told t24, adding that she was “invited by Akın Atalay, Cumhuriyet’s chief executive officer, to expand the narrow Kemalist vision of the daily.”

Mert, who writes two columns every week, has been at the center of debate over her article about Darwinism and a government decision to give the authority to officiate at civil marriages to muftis, official religious representatives.

Some columnists who write for Cumhuriyet also reacted negatively to Mert over the articles.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 276 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of August 9, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 252 are arrested pending trial, only 24 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 110 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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