Another journalist is facing charges of “insulting Turkishness” in Turkey for an article titled “Turkey Has Made Mistakes.”

“The state made mistakes. When and where? Yesterday, in the East and South-East. then in Istanbul. In Maras and Sivas. Today in Trabzon, Istanbul, Mersin and in the South-East.”

These words have taken journalist Haci Bogatekin to court.

Bogatekin owns the local Gerger Firat newspaper in Adiyaman, south-eastern Turkey. Because he criticised state policies in an article entitled “Turkey Has Made Mistakes”, published in his newspaper on 10 March 2007, he is on trial for “degrading Turkishness, the Republic, state institutions or its organs” – Article 301 once again.

Today (26 September), the Gerger penal court decided to have the next hearing on 6 November, in order to allow the journalist time to present evidence and prepare his defense.

Requested legal support 

Bogatekin has requested legal support from the Press Council and has said that he will ask the Adiyaman Bar Association for help.

At the court hearing today, Bogatekin’s complaint that the indictment had been prepared “without doing any research” was rejected by the court.

Call to “keep the country clean” 

In his article, Bogatekin holds the state responsible for “the deaths of millions of Armenians and Syriac Christians in the East and South-East, after that the deaths of the Alevi in Dersim, then the Greek Orthodox in Istanbul with the September movement, and more recently the deaths of hundreds of people in Maras, Malatya, Corum and Sivas”.

He also criticised the employment policies of the state, saying “Do those who murder in the name of the state, who siphon the money out of the banks make contacts with MIT [the Turkish secret service]?

Those exacting money have become like an army which dares to direct the state. In the East, they have begun to decide on the politics. Commanding themselves, they have started to do any job that is dirty and ominous, to exploit the people…”

He ends the article by saying, “Keeping this country clean is the duty of us all. If we do not accept this duty, the consequences will be dreadful. We will not have a future.” LINK