One of the accusations against Cumhuriyet was accepting ads from companies affiliated with FETÖ. In fact, the data showed that the companies affiliated with FETÖ actually gave more ads to partisan newspapers than Cumhuriyet and the amount f ads in Cumhuriyet was indeed very small. Moreover, there are ads provided by the state itself amongst the ones identified in the accusations.
Business were plucked...
It was evident that the indictment on Cumhuriyet’s publication policy, news, and columns would be open to criticism with respect to freedom of the press. Because of this, the Prosecution had a ByLock and MASAK (financial) report prepared. One of the items under investigation in the MASAK report was the revenue from ads appearing in Cumhuriyet. In this report which was part of Prosecutor Inam’s efforts to establishing a tie between Cumhuriyet and FETÖ, it was claimed that there was a financial tie between the agency which publishes Cumhuriyet, Yeni Gun News Agency Press and Publishing company (anonymous), and FETÖ/PDY (Parallel State Presence). Based on the report, the prosecution used the revenue from the ads and the money we paid to the news agencies between 2014-2016 as a basis for new accusations. However, no information on the amount of ads included in the partisan newspapers, Sabah, Star, Yeni Şafak ve Akşam, in the same time period were not included in neither the indictment nor the MASAK report. On the contrary, by not including these partisan newspapers, they made sure to not involve these newspapers in any investigations. Based on this, out of the firms linked to FETO/PYD, Kaynak Holding was in the report but the ones liked by the partisan newspapers, like Boydak Holding ve Bank Asya were left out of the report.
The lion’s share goes to henchman
If we look at the period between 2013 and October 2016, which is the bitter part of AKP-Cemaat fight, Cumhuriyet has the lowest rate of advertisement received by any of the newspapers. The companies which have been related to FETÖ and transferred to the control of equity receiver; Anafen Education Institutions, Bank Asya, Bellona, Istikbal Mobilya, Surat Cargo, Kaynak Holding have sent 311 advertisements to Milliyet, 247 to Sabah, 286 to Yeni safak, 238 to Vatan, 191 to Hurriyet, 182 to Star, 124 to Aksam and only 82 advertisements to Cumhuriyet. The companies which place advertisements to Cumhuriyet are Kaynak Holding (41,500.00 TRL), Ipek University ( 1,000.00 TRL) and Feza Gazetecilik (29,500.00 TRL). The subtotal of these three advertisements is below 1% of total advertisement income of Cumhuriyet for year 2016 and it is not a serious portion for the advertisement cake of newspapers. However, such a huge advertisement income of newspapers like Sabah and Yeni Safak, which are the henchmen, is viewed as just a commercial activity for them but it is viewed as supporting terrorism for Cumhuriyet.
Because we accepted a state advertisement
It’s been specified in the indictment that Yeni Gun News Agency which is the publisher of Cumhuriyet had received 4,130.00 TRL as advertisement charge from Koza Altin Isletmeleri A.S. on 5th April 2016. In fact, Koza Altin had transferred to the management of equity receiver in October 2015 and started to operate under the control of a state officer. This advertisement which is an accusation issue in the indictment, is placed under the control of the Turkish Republic. In a word, the reason for the imprisonment of our writers, directors and reporters for the past 7 months is to accept an advertisement from the Turkish State.
On the other hand, there is ample evidence to show that this a basic business. If you look at to the advertisement data of big newspapers, you would see that the companies under the control of equity receiver, continue to place advertisements. For instance, Boydak Holding which is a company transferred to the control of equity receiver as of 18th August 2016, has placed 22 advertisements at Yeni Safak, 20 at Sabah, 20 at Gunes, 13 at Milliyet, 9 at Posta, 7 at Hurriyet, 7 at Vatan, 3 at Haberturk and 2 at Star. This data proves that the partisan newspapers have bread and butter business from the companies under the control of equity receiver.
The indictment says “Star is guilty as well”
Cem Kucuk, who is a witness in the Cumhuriyet case and blames Cumhuriyet for taking money from FETO, was a columnist at Star between May 2015 and April 2016. The other witness Huseyin Gulerce is a columnist at Star as of September 2015. Star had given at least 45 advertisements from the companies related FETO/PDY or under the control of equity receiver due to this reason in 2016. So, according to the logic of the prosecution, Star is also related with FETO; Kucuk and Gulerce get their salaries from FETO as well.
The crime of monitoring elections
Our money transfer -51,000.00 TRL- to Cihan News Agency also had been the subject of an accusation in the indictment. Even though these payments were made to obtain news during the elections in 2015, they were considered as an accusation in the indictment. There are only two organisations in Turkey which generate data about elections. One of them is Anadolu Agency and the other one is Cihan News Agency. Almost all of the newspapers and TV channels get service from these two organisations on the election days. Our newspaper is guilty for “getting news” and our writers and directors are imprisoned due to this for 7 months.
Favorites of partisan
MASAK included 4 corporations suspected of being affiliated with FETÖ in its report but did not include many of the firms and corporations favored by the partisan media. For example, Boydak Holding and Bank Asya, mentioned in many discussions, was not included in the report. According to the data, the following firms associated with Boydak Holding (suspected of being affiliated with FETÖ), including Istikbal, bellona and Dumankaya, provided the following number of advertisements in 2016: Sabah: 86; Hurriyet: 80; Milliyet: 61; Posta: 6-; Haberturk: 58; Yeni safak: 53; Star: 32; Yeni Asir: 20. During this period, Cumhuriyet only had 7 ads. MASAK did not include Boydak and Bank Asya, which provided a large number of ads in the big media and tried to hide the fact that the ads taht Cumhuiyet recevied were just part of a natural financial transaction.
Which one is appropriate?
In the indictment, reason for the claim that the revenues from the ads were used to transfer funds to Cumhuriyet, was attributed what was said by Talat Atila on the “Behind the Scenes” show on Kanal A. Atila, who was a columnist in the Sun newspaper from 2011 to 2015, made the following statements during the show: “Here, there is a matter of resources, how will the newspaper manage its funding? Here, they are benefitting from the advertisement portfolio of Kaynak and Boydak firms. Is this appropriate or a consequence of this strategy? The law will unveil the truth.” When the revenues from the ads in the Sun newspaper, where Atila was a columnist, it showed that they had 65 advertisements in 2015 and 2016 from Boydak (the company he mentioned) and the other firms tied to this company including Bellona, Istikbal, Mondi Furniture. According to the prosecutor’s and Atila’s views, Atila is getting paid by FETÖ.Kaynak: Cumhuriyet.com.tr