CHP President Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu: Releases in OdaTV case will improve Turkey’s image

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, HDN photo, Selahattin Sönmez

As the 14th hearing of the OdaTV case, in which journalists Nedim Şener, Ahmet Şık and Soner Yalçın are being tried as suspects, was continuing in İstanbul, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in Ankara that he expected to hear rulings for releases of defendants.

Releases would be relieving for public opinion both in Turkey and the world, Kılıçdaroğlu said, noting that release decision would change Turkey’s image among the international community.

“It bothers the public conscience that journalist friends envisaging to inform the public, chasing after news have been arrested for a long time. They are journalists, there is only pen in their hands. It is not right to arrest them, put them in jail and keep them waiting in prisons for a long time. This is not a procedure we can democratically accept. We expect that case [OdaTV case] to be concluded in line with the law too, we expect releases,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters.

“It will give a relief to both the Turkish public opinion and the world’s. It will change the perception of Turkey too. Justice is, of course, a notion that we all look for and cherish. We need to sublimate this notion. Our task should not be to weaken it. It is the judges and the decisions they will take which will sublimate it [the notion of Justice],” he added.

Arrested suspects Soner Yalçın, Yalçın Küçük and Hanefi Avcı were brought into court while head of the court Mehmet Ekinci, who is currently abroad, was absent. The court’s second highest placed member, Hikmet Şen, will manage the hearing.

A group of people, including Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies and journalists Ayşe Arman and Uğur Dündar, gathered in front of the court for the hearing. The group issued a press statement saying that this was a political case and that government opponents were being tried.

The OdaTV case centers on an online news portal known for its fierce criticism of the Turkish government.

Hurriyet Daily News, November/16/2012

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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