Sözcü refutes 6 accusations with 6 answers
These are Sözcü’s 6 responses to 6 accusations regarding Burak Akbay, the owner of the newspaper, and Sözcü itself.
• CLAIM NUMBER 1: Burak Akbay, the owner of Sözcü daily, spent his life in Gülen's community homes while studying.
The one who asserted this claim is Fehmi Koru who was among the founders of Zaman daily, FETO's (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization) media outlet, and spent the large part of his writing career in this newspaper. On 4 April 2010, Fehmi Koru wrote about this claim in Yeni Şafak daily where he transferred subsequent to Zaman under alias Taha Kıvanç. Then, on 20 March 2012, he repeated his claim Star daily where he transferred after Yeni Şafak.
• FACT: Owner of Sözcü daily, Burak Akbay has never been in touch with the Cemaat Movement. Burak Akbay was born in 1971 in Istanbul. He is the son of veteran journalist Ertuğrul Akbay who made great effort for Turkish media. Completing his first education in Maçka Primary School, Burak Akbay graduated from private Dost High School in Sarıyer and had undergraduate education in Switzerland where he studied marketing and executive management both in English and French. The name of this educational establishment is American College of Switzerland.
Burak Akbay returned to Turkey and got a start in business after higher education. He started to publish Turkish and foreign newspapers in his printing house. Establishing Sözcü daily in 2007, Burak Akbay owns the media group incorporating Sözcü, Korkusuz, AMK dailies and sozcu.com.tr which is the digital platform of Sözcü. The Daily Mirror, The Sun and The Sunday Times and Bild are still published in his printing house.
SOZCU IS A DAILY WHICH EDITORIAL FREEDOM PREVAILS
Sözcü has set a premium on editorial freedom since its foundation and has been best known as uncompromising approach in this regard. Veteran journalist Metin Yılmaz has been editor-in-chief since Sözcü was established in 2007. Sözcü is a platform of which columnists write their thoughts freely, and this reality is confirmed by their own words. Since its foundations Sözcü has been trying to draw attention to sneaky organization of Fethullah Gülen's movement within state. Sözcü was the first and only newspaper to call Gülen's insidious organization as FETO exactly 10 years ago.
Sözcü supported the victims of Ergenekon, Sledgehammer, Odatv, Poyrazköy and Military Espionage cases which today come out as FETO's conspiracy. Sözcü pointed to the forged documents and was the voice of hundreds of people such as public-spirited soldiers, academics, authors and journalists put in prisons. This fact can easily be seen in Sözcü's history and archive. Burak Akbay has never interfered this publishing policy and, in so much that encouraged journalist of Sözcü to continue this kind of journalism. The editorial staff of Sözcü bear witness to this fact.
THIS IS THE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION CERTIFICATE OF BURAK AKBAY (BELOW)
BURAK AKBAY COMPLETED HIGHER EDUCATION WITH GREAT SUCCESS AND TOOK HIS DIPLOMA
HE STUDIED WITH CHILDREN OF CELEBRITIES
Private Dost High School from which Burak Akbay graduated started to give education in 1980's. Famous Turkish singer Mustafa Sandal, renowned Turkish actor Cüneyt Arkın's son Kaan Cüreklibatur and Turkish singer Ahmet Kaya's daughter Melis Kaya are among the students of this college. Turkish businessman Süha Cent bought Dost College in 1992 and changed its name as Private Cent High School that is still active.
CLAIM NUMBER 2: After a trustee appointed to Zaman daily, There new dailies such as Meydan, Yarına Bakış and Yeni Hayat came into existence. Those newspapers were printed at Sözcü's printing house…
FACT: This is a commercial transaction. On the day of failed coup attempt, printing is stopped.
According to regulation in Turkey, newspapers are described as ‘periodic publication'. To be a periodic publication, according to Press Law, there got to be a owner, managing editor in charge and it has to announce it's location to the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office. With this notification a newspaper can be announced as ‘periodic publication'. In every pressed material, publication place and date, names of the printer and publisher, their commercial positions and office addresses are required to be shown.
Meydan, Yarına Bakış and Yeni Hayat were all based in Istanbul. They were being published with the permission of Chief Public Prosecutor's Office. They fulfilled the official requirements.
In this group which incorporates Sözcü, these newspapers were printed with fee. They were only printed and it has nothing to do with the content of the material. At the night of 15th July where dreadful attack of FETO, printing was immediately stopped. Doğan Group also published these newspapers and its distributing company Yay-Sat distributed them to ten thousands of kiosk, market and office. This was not a crime and all the tax from the income was paid.
CLAIM NUMBER 3: Ankara representative of Sözcü, Saygı Öztürk's cousin Hamdullah Öztürk is FETO's ‘Brazilian Imam'…
FACT: Öztürk: They claim this man is my uncle's son. But I don't have an uncle!
Sözcü's Ankara representative Saygı Öztürk is a well known journalist in Turkey. His articles, his books and with awards he got, he is the idol of a lot of journalists.
We asked this claim to himself. Here is his answer: “They wrote and told this accusation before. I don't have an uncle. So naturally I don't have a cousin. I don't have a cousin in this name from none of my parents. This person is from my village. I know he is the grandchild of my grandfather's step brother's son. In the last 50 years I saw him 2 or 3 times at the funerals of my elders. I have no contact with him and I have never spoken with him on the phone. If you have proof, go ahead. I don't care who this person is…
CLAIM NUMBER 4: In the puzzle that was published on the 1st of January 2016, there was insult to the President Erdoğan
FACT: This issue is on the jurisdiction process, not finalized…
Sözcü found that puzzle from bobiler.org, which is satirical digital platform, on 1st of January and used it on the front page to put a smile on readers face without any modification.
Everyone knows in Turkish media that new year editions are printed very early on 31st of December. Newspapers only wait for the lottery results. Because of this hush, editors of the newspaper did not realize ö,l,r,e,c,e,p (d,i,e,r,e,c,e,p) letters come together in the puzzle. It was a mistake accidentally and as soon as the mistake is seen, Sözcü apologized for the puzzle.
For this issue, Istanbul Küçükçekmece Prosecutor's Office began an investigation on Sozcu for heavy accusations such as ‘Insult to President, provoking the people and threat to kill'. After investigation, Sozcu was sued on ‘Insult to President' crime. In that case managing editor in charge, put on trial and sentenced. Sözcü appealed the decision and the case is still waiting to be reviewed on the Istanbul District Court of Justice. Person who prepared this puzzle on bobiler.org was sued.
CLAIM NUMBER 5: Burak Akbay stopped the printing of foreign newspapers in the evening of 15th of July
According to file case which was leaked to Güneş daily, an anonymous witness said: “I was at the Izmir printing house on 15th of July. Some foreign newspapers are also published from here. For example lots of newspapers from Greece are being published from here. They are sent to Athens from Izmir Airport at night. We did the rural edition but the foreign editions stopped. Burak Akbay called M.S., the person in charge of Izmir printing house, and said, ‘today the airports will be closed so don't hurry, stop printing'. I didn't understand the reason for that because there was nothing unusual around. After a couple of hours I heard about the coup attempt and realized why the printing is stopped.”
According to Güneş daily, M.S. who had a talk with Burak Akbay was abroad.
FACT: Printing of foreign newspapers started at 18:50 and finished at 01:14 in İzmir printing house. Printing is not stopped and all the newspapers are sent to Adnan Menderes Airport.
The person who is in charge of İzmir Printing House, Güneş daily mentioned as M.S. is Metin Sarkınacı. Unlike pro-government newspaper Güneş's claims he is not abroad and he doesn't even have a passport and is still working with us at the printing house and living in Izmir. Burak Akbay never called him to order ‘Stop the printing' and Sözcü doesn't print any Greek newspaper.
From Izmir printing house we publish European newspapers such as German Bild, British Daily Mirror, The Sun, Daily Mail and Sunday Times and send them to Athens with a leased private plane. These newspapers are published as planned on 15th of July. German Bild newspaper is printed at 21.32 and the printing process finished at 21.50 with 7.290 editions.
ALL OF THEM ARE PUBLISHED
British Daily Mirror's publishing began at 01:05 and after 2.080 editions it was finished at 01:14. Austrian newspaper Kronen's process began at 18:50 and finished at 19:02 with 2.660 editions. Dutch newspaper HLN's printing process started at 00:25 and finished at 00:38 with a circulation of 2.150. Norwegian newspapers VG's printing started at 01:02 and finished at 01:10 with 1.440 editions. You can find the printing reports above.
These newspapers were sent to İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport at 01:30 after published and we waited for the leased plane to come. However, because of traitor coup plotter, an emergency situation occurred, so plane couldn't take off from Athens and it never made its way to Izmir. As everyone knows, on the 15th of July evening, Turkish Airlines canceled nearly 900 flights. Our plane from Athens couldn't come so the newspapers we published are collected from airport and sent to junk.
CLAIM NUMBER 6: Sözcü disclosed the exact place President Erdoğan stayed for holiday on the coup attempt day. President Erdoğan was pointed as a target in this way.
What Sözcü's İzmir reporter Gökmen Ulu did is just journalism. Furthermore, Gökmen Ulu was the first journalist to reach Erdoğan's call “to take the streets against traitors” to large masses.
FACT: Sözcü's reporter Gökmen Ulu was at Marmaris on 15 July 2016. He went to the hotel where President Erdoğan was staying. He was among the journalists to get invitation for Erdoğan's call to public. Erdoğan's invitation was published on www.sozcu.com.tr, digital platform of Sözcü daily by means of Gökmen Ulu. Sözcü was the first media outlet to publish Erdoğan's message to masses.
Gökmen Ulu, reporting from Aegean region especially İzmir for Sözcü daily, was born and raised in Marmaris. Before President Erdoğan went on a holiday, he was assigned to investigate the information on activities on Okluk Cove where presidential guest house had been built within Özal's (8th President of Turkey from 1989 to 1993) period. The information was that boats were withdrawing from the cove.
Following by inquiring into this issue, Gökmen Ulu found out that President Erdoğan was not on Okluk Cove to take a vacation. While talking to acquaintances in Marmaris, he learnt extraordinary measures taken in the district, and tradesmen's complaints on deteriorating business recently. He confirmed these reports from the posts on social media as well. He thereupon went to Marmaris and found out that Erdoğan was in the district by taking a brief investigation and reported it. This news was published on Sözcü's website at 16:15 on 15 July 2016, not in Sözcü daily.
To find out places where the presidents is having a holiday is just journalism. This is news not only in Turkey, but also all over the world. Gökmen Ulu's motivation just derived from only journalism.
BAN ON SÖZCÜ WAS REMOVED ON THAT NIGHT
Moreover, Gökmen Ulu spent that night in Marmaris. Following the treacherous coup attemp by FETO, he went to the hotel where President Erdoğan was staying, and was accepted by Erdoğan's staff with other journalist waiting, and recorded, then reported Erdoğan's first statement.
Everybody knows very well that Sözcü has been banned from all governmental organizations Since Mr. Erdoğan took the chair of prime ministry. But this ban on Sözcü, which had been applied to for years, was removed that night for once. Sözcü's reporter Gökmen Ulu was accepted to the hotel to report Erdoğan's statement.
Gökmen Ulu was the first journalist to report President Erdoğan's first statement. That news containing Erdoğan's call to public to resist against putschists was published on sozcu.com.tr with the Erdoğan's photograph taken at that time.
SÖZCÜ WAS FASTER THAN ANADOLU AGENCY (AA) AND TURKISH RADIO AND TELEVISION CORPORATION (TRT)
Gökmen Ulu's news was on Sözcü's digital platform ahead of Hande Fırat and Abdülkadir Selvi's live interview with Erdoğan on CNNTürk television. Erdoğan's five-minute statement was not, in fact, broadcasted by TRT. Anadolu Agency reported it too late as well.
Sözcü was the media outlet which ignited the resistance against coup plotters. Sözcü's archive is open source and stands like a sore thumb. Sözcü's courage and pro-democracy approach, and partisans' slanders will definitely be written in history books.
HOW THE COUP PLOTTERS FOUND OUT THE ERDOĞAN'S LOCATION
According to bill of indictment, written by Muğla Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, regarding the assassination attempt towards President Erdoğan, Erdoğan's chief aide-de-camp Col. Ali Yazıcı gave the location information to the putschists. In this indictment it's written that chief aide-de-camp Yazıcı went to Çiğli Main Jet Base Command at the night of 15th of July and there met with the putschist General Gökhan Şahin Sönmezateş who was the head of assassination squad. According to bill of indictment, Col. Yazıcı shared the hotel's name where Erdoğan stayed with Gen. Sönmezateş.