DİYARBAKIR - Released journalist Selman Güzelyüz said: “They can physically arrest Free Press employees, but they can never hold us mentally.”
Diren Yurtsever, Editor-in-Chief of the Mezopotamya Agency (MA), correspondents Selman Güzelyüz, Deniz Nazlım, Berivan Altan, Emrullah Acar, Hakan Yalçın, Ceylan Şahinli, and JINNEWS reporters Habibe Eren and Öznur Değer, who were detained as part of the investigation carried out by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on October 29, were arrested on charges of "being a member of a terrorist organization" by the court. Journalist Hamdullah Bayram, wanted within the scope of the same file, was arrested after being detained on March 16, 2023.
While 9 journalists who were arrested were released in the first hearing of the case on May 16, a decision was made to "continue in detention" for Bayram. Selman Güzelyüz, one of the released journalists, said that they will continue to write the truth despite the pressure.
'WE DO PUBLIC JOURNALISM'
Stating that the pressure on the Free Press is a part of the attacks against the Kurds and that the accusations in the indictment are baseless, Güzelyüz said: "We are doing public journalism as the Free Press and we will not take a step back due to pressure. Wherever there is true news, an event that concerns the public, we will continue to announce it. We are not journalists who will play games within the boundaries that someone has drawn on journalism. They will not get any results with pressure and obstruction."
'WE CAN'T STEP BACK'
Stating that the attacks against the Free Press were neither the first nor the last, Güzelyüz said: “Their aim is to keep everyone who writes the truth and speaks the truth under pressure. Newspaper buildings were bombed in the 1990s. Employees were murdered, kidnapped, arrested and tortured; however, it has never taken a step back, and it will never back down. Continuity is essential in the Free Press tradition no matter what. Work continues against all attacks. They can arrest Free Press workers physically, but they can never arrest us mentally."
THE FUTURE OF RESISTANCE OF THE FREE PRESS
Emphasizing that the oppression of the Kurds gradually affects the whole society, Güzelyüz said: “The government tried the oppression on the Kurds first, and then started to use it against other groups as well. The government first called HDP a 'terrorist'. Then the CHP was treated the same. The government, which appointed trustees to HDP municipalities, then attempted to appoint trustees to Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Journalists who are on the side of the government due to their interests today may be arrested tomorrow. Those who have remained silent about the attacks on Kurdish politicians and journalists until today have been subjected to these attacks in a similar way. In short, there is a tradition of resistance no matter what kind of attacks are made on the Free Press. The Free Press did not take a step back in the face of these attacks and has always grown.”
MA / Mehmet Güleş