Chronology of perception operation against Sözcü
Perception operation against Sözcü began on one of the most important day in Turkey, 19th of May... On the day the Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day, two staff members of Sözcü were taken into custody.
19 May 2017
Perception operation began against opposing newspaper Sözcü which is keen supporter of Atatürk on this day. sozcu.com.tr's news editor in charge Mediha Olgun and Sözcü's İzmir reporter Gökmen Ulu were taken into custody as part of this operation.
23 May 2017
Sözcü's Fiscal Manager Yonca Yücekaleli was arrested.
26 May 2017
Three staff members of Sozcu accused of being members of FETO (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization) were brought to Istanbul Courtroom at Çağlayan. Sözcü's staff members were questioned and denied the accusation.
However, prosecutor transferred Olgun, Gökmen and Yücekaleli to the court. Mediha Olgun and Gökmen Ulu were put in prison after their testimony, Yonca Yücekaleli was freed. Mediha Olgun was then transferred to Bakırköy Prison and Gökmen Ulu to Metris Prison.
2 June 2017
Attorney team of Sözcü, objected to the decision against Olgun and Ulu who were arrested on 19th of May and sent to prison on 26th of May in the perception operation. Sözcü's lawyers Celal Ülgen, İsmail Yılmaz and Ceren Yakışır asked at the 9. Magistrates Court to lift the arrest warrant for two journalists.
Attorneys mentioned the process was baseless and unlawful with the petition. They said, “Conditions to make an arrest is not available and the all the data for the evidence are baseless and constraining. Therefore, it is hard to make a cause effect relation.”
With the same petition they mentioned sozcu.com.tr's news manager in charge Mediha Olgun was put in prison causelessly. Lawyer wrote, “Article which is subject to the court is not anonymous. Mediha Olgun, who is also the managing editor in charge can be tried for the articles which have no significant author. However this article is written by a reporter.”
According to 4th article on Internet Law, content creator and content provider are the same people and the article subject to this investigation is provided by Bekir Gökmen Ulu. Therefore, in this article content creator and content provider is obvious and Mediha Olgun can not be responsible.
With the same petition, attorneys mentioned Gökmen Ulu: “Gökmen Ulu's reporting at www.sozcu.com.tr is used against Sözcü and Ulu as a lynch campaign. There are accusations for both Sözcü and Ulu for being members of FETÖ. To prevent this actions we filed criminal complaint at the Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office. Gökmen Ulu wrote this news piece with journalistic reflexes, not to guide people as claimed.”
‘POLITICIANS' HOLIDAY' IS ALWAYS NEWSWORTHY
The petition continued as: “Before that desperate and vile attempt of coup, President Tayyip Erdoğan's holiday was known around, however it was an object of interest of the exact location of holiday. Political leaders' holiday locations always attract attention and it is always newsworthy. Similar news are published for previous presidents Turgut Özal, Süleyman Demirel and Ahmet Necdet Sezer as well as prime ministers Tansu Çiller and Mesut Yılmaz. This situation is natural and usual.”
23 June 2017
To free Ulu and Olgun, lawyers wrote a petition of objection which says: “It is illegal to keep our friends in prision because of the news.”
2 July 2017
All the objections to free Gökmen Ulu and Mediha Olgun in their 38th day in prison were rejected by the superior courts as “the evidences couldn't be collected”.
On this matter Sözcü's lawyer Celal Ülgen said, “If the evidences couldn't be collected where are the strong indication and sign to arrest? Code of Criminal Procedure is mentioning about solid evidences to show the risk of crime. If there are no solid evidences and you are still looking for evidences how can you explain the arrests? Probable crime suspicion was an abstract issue during the FETO jurisdiction but later on Code of Criminal Procedure 100 is changed and the must to find solid evidences are added. Today we are witnessing the denial of this addition to the Code of Crimina Procedure, without solid evidence there can't be arrests. If there are solid evidences then there shouldn't be spoliation. Judge of the Istanbul 13th criminal courts of peace is ignoring the defense. Judge ignored the release petition we prepared for each of them and did not mention it on the decision. Judge even forgot to write Gökmen Ulu's surname. Judge categorized the crime as a catalogue crime. However, accusation and the reason of arrest is off the catalogue crimes.”