Aydın Engin writes about the recent developments in Turkey in a letter addressed to Hrant Dink.
know, I write a letter to you every year on January 19. However,
today, I wanted to write a letter to you out of the blue.
Don't ask why. I will explain. Just listen to me:
As you may recall, I had written that our kids continue to issue Agos in an excellent way. I should say that they are even better than us. Wait, don't object to me right away. They were raised by you, in the school of Agos. It is natural that the student becomes the master. Feeling at ease, I left Agos and returned to Cumhuriyet. I have been contributing to Cumhuriyet since then.
You know all about this. However, I assume you haven't heard what is going on recently.
Under the AKP government, Cumhuriyet is one of the few newspapers that don't bow to and kneel before the pressure. And as you can guess, it is the most influential one. It is like a throne pricking AKP circles. They have been seeking to silence it and they took action a couple of days ago. They have new partners now. AKP and Gulenists had divorced because of severe conflict; they are still scuffling. When Gulenists realized that they will be pushed out, they mobilized their forces within the army and attempted to stage a coup on July 15. It was a stupid attempt and foiled. After that, Tayyip Erdoğan released the ones who were arrested in Ergenekon cases. He restored their honor and AKP now has a “imam's marriage” to them.
Well, this new coalition launched an operation against Cumhuriyet, which have been prickling them for so long. AKP government chose its witnesses among their coalition partners and mobilized the judiciary, which is possessed by AKP almost completely. There had been police raids to 13 Cumhuriyet workers at the crack of down and they had been detained. I was among those 13 detained Cumhuriyet workers.
Let me keep it short. They put us into the detention rooms in counter-terrorism branch. On the 5th day, we were brought to the prosecutor's office. They asked endless questions.
All of the questions were utter nonsense. I want to tell you about just one of them.
On August 9, I wrote a column titled as “Gulenists killed Hrant, right?” I had been furious for days.
Remember that they said, “A couple of nationalist young men from Trabzon had committed murder, there is no relation to any organization.”
Remember that we didn't bought this bare-faced lie and demanded the ones who paved the for this murder, the ones who planned it, the ones who praised the perpetrators and the ones who are trying to hide the truth stand trial...
Remember that they had to include the police chiefs, police officers, intelligence branch personnel, gendarmerie commanders, gendarmerie intelligence branch officers and high-ranking bureaucrats to the case file, though they had been resisting to do it for a long time...
During those days, the marriage of AKP and Gulenists failed and they started quarreling ruthlessly...
Then, AKP tried to pin the murder on Gulenists (we called them “FETÖ” these days). Meaning, they tried to use this murder as a tool in their political quarrels. And I got furious and wrote: “You are in this together; you cannot get away with it by pinning the murder on Gulenists only.”
This column came up during my interrogation in prosecutor's office. Guess what they asked me: “In that column, you tried to clear Gulenists of this crime and made a propaganda for FETÖ. What would you say about this?”
First of all, I asked them if they are kidding. Then I said that even a child wouldn't come to this conclusion and explained the column once again.
The prosecutor said nothing and went on to other questions.
I am writing this letter so that you know about what is going on. You should know that we are on the path leading to absurdity at full speed and a threshold along this path has just been passed. I am glad that you are not here to witness this.
With love and longing Ahparig!