His colleague from the newspaper Cumhuriyet, Alican Uludağ, commented on this arrest for Fairpress, noting that all the details regarding the detention leaked from the prosecution office before his lawyers were even informed.
He was detained because of his critical tweets and his pieces published in Cumhuriyet. The prosecutor who was in charge of the investigation went to the police station to take Ahmet Şık’s statement; Ahmet refused to give a statement on the grounds that his professional activity is being a subject to the investigation. He was then sent to court as he was accused of spreading “terrorist propaganda”. He was arrested later on.
He mentioned that this isn’t the first time Şık has been arrested:
We experienced this in 2011 as well, when he was arrested during the process in which he had been writing a book, “The Imam’s Army”, which was about the Fethullah Gülen organisation structuring within the Turkish security forces. The book had not yet been published by the time he was arrested and the actual aim was to prevent him from publishing the book. The Prime Minister at the time said the unpublished book was “more dangerous than a bomb”. Şık was freed after a year. Now, Ahmet Şık has been arrested again. And why? The reason is that Ahmet Şık has never retreated,
or been afraid of writing and speaking out the truth, regardless of the political climate in Turkey. He has continued to criticise the stance of the current government about the Kurdish issue and the Syrian crisis. I believe the real reason behind his detention is something else, although it is said that the reason is his criticism.
Considering they work at the same newspaper, on one occasion Ahmet Şık told his colleague that he’s working on a “piece” that the government won’t be fond of:
He was so close to reaching all the details required for the piece. My opinion is that his tweets aren’t the reason for his detention. The real goal is to prevent him from publishing the piece he has been working on. If the piece was to be published, there would be an upheaval within the ruling party (AKP). Ahmet Şık, who was put in jail for an unpublished book in 2011, has now been arrested for a piece he has not yet written.
Eventually, the cost of writing the truth for journalists in Turkey is huge and it usually results in them being put behind bars. And Ahmet Şık’s case will not be the last, Alican Uludağ for Fairpress.
The arrest of the award-winning journalist once again placed into focus the show down with journalists in Turkey after the failed military coup attempt. President of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Philippe Leruth stated that press freedom has once again found itself under pressure in Turkey and that the Turkish authorities have shown that they are not trying to save Turkish democracy, but are willing to reinforce an authoritarian power.“Like all other imprisoned Turkish journalists, whose work is criminalized, Ahmet Sik must be released immediately and without any conditions”, Leruth added.