"I reject the accusations that have been made against me. The subject of the investigation concerns my professional activities, journalism in other words. There has been an attempt to present the news pieces and interviews I produced in the past as offenses. My posts on social media have likewise been introduced into the case file in order to strengthen the allegations. We experienced a scenario similar to the current one in a conspiracy that took place five years ago.
At that time, the term of convenience used by the two accomplices who shared power (the Gülen movement and the AKP party) was Ergenekon. Any targeted opponent, whoever that person might be, would be labelled as an Ergenekon member and thrown into prison. When these two accomplices, the Gülen movement and the AKP, began a power struggle over the state they had taken control of, the result was the July 15 coup attempt and its bloody outcome.
The coup attempt did not succeed. Had it been successful, however, the result would have looked similar to what is happening now. We can summarize the current situation by saying: "The coup was avoided, but a junta has come to power nonetheless." The term of convenience now being used is FETÖ (eds. note: an acronym meaning "Fethullahist Terror Organization," based on Fethullah Gülen's first name.). The party in power had, until recently, turned a blind eye to its accomplices’ crimes, even to the point of supporting them and providing them with political backing. Now, that party, together with the media buffoons who tried to legitimize its tyranny, has begun to brand the Gülen movement as FETÖ, fearful even of using its real name.
It is clear that the AKP is chiefly responsible for relabelling the Gülen movement as FETÖ. Indeed, the first person who should be put on trial here today is the president of the republic, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has said: "What is it that you asked for that we did not give you?" and "I too have helped them a lot, may God and my nation forgive me." Whether the nation will pardon him or not is up to the nation to decide. Whether God will forgive his sins or not is not a worldly matter. However, the duty of a judge who claims to be independent, impartial and fair is to investigate a suspect who admits his crime. It is up to the judiciary to bring to trial a party and its leader who both shared power with and abetted the crimes of a counter-guerrilla gang, a sacralized mafia organization that used religion as a tool.
No one has the right to prosecute journalists for their professional activities. I have worked as a journalist for 27 years. From the first day of my professional career right up until today, I have strived to search for the truth. For I believe that people have the right to learn the truth and that the journalist’s duty is to deliver the truth -- with which he has been entrusted by the people to whom it belongs -- without distortion and without betraying the trust placed in him. Therefore, if I have distorted the truth, my professional activities should not be questioned by courts of law, but by the readers, by the viewers -- in other words, by the people themselves.
I have never had any link with any party, organization or other structure, be it considered legal or illegal. Throughout my professional life, I have strived in my journalism to report critically about each and every government, regardless of its political orientation. I did this to the best of my ability. In short, I managed through my journalistic activities to be the bad guy of each and every period. I wear this as a badge of honor.
Viewed from this perspective, you are right, I do have an organization: It is called the truth. There is indeed a power on which I do rely -- and that is the people themselves, who I believe should know the truth.
In the recent past, we witnessed how the tragically ridiculous plot that is now being staged got hatched. Then, too, my professional activities had been the subject of an investigation. I was targeted by elements of the Gülen movement gang who had infiltrated the police and the judiciary. In addition to the police prosecutors and judges with this gang, it also has supporters who held positions in the media who backed the party in power – the AKP – and supported all the crimes they committed in an unlimited way. Their hired guns in the media would point to the target, the police would then devise the plot, their prosecutor would dispatch the arrest warrant and their judge would strip us of our freedom.
The government, which was the political representative of this organization, together with its ministers and members of parliament, would always find refuge in the same lie, one which can be found in all dictatorships: "They are not journalists, they are terrorists." And today, a similar scenario is again being staged, but I want to stress the fact -- and one would do well to remember this: Most of the hired guns who targeted me -- the policemen who devised their plot, the prosecutors and judges who had me arrested and the members of the court who pretended to be judging me -- are now under detention themselves. As for those for whom a blind eye was turned, they are now being sought as fugitives.
The lesson to be drawn from this is the following: No one can hold power forever. It will remain in the hands of no one. Neither will it remain in the hands of those whose eyes have been blinded by arrogance nor for those who, drunk with power, indulge in all kinds of lawlessness.
This is what I said at the prison gate on March 12, 2012, the night I was released: "From all this oppression and tyranny a new life will arise, which those in power fear but which we dream of and for which we shall continue our struggle."
I repeat these same words today.