Journalists, political analysts and intellectuals have made statements in solidarity with Bülent Keneş, the editor-in-chief of Today's Zaman, who was arrested on Friday evening for allegedly insulting the president of Turkey via his tweets.
Taraf daily columnist Sezin Öney tweeted, “Truly sad with new waves journalists' supression [sic] in Turkey; arrest warrant for English daily Today's Zaman's editor-in-Chief Bülent Keneş.”
Investigative journalist for the Radikal news portal İsmail Saymaz also tweeted, saying, “I pray Bülent Keneş is reunited with freedom and returned to head his paper as soon as possible,” and “Arresting Mr. Bülent has taken away our right to criticize Cemaat [the Hizmet movement] and the Zaman group on an equal and free platform.” He also said Keneş's arrest is the “depths of lawlessness and the murder of freedom of expression."
Sedef Kabaş, who was recently acquitted of charges of “targeting individuals involved in the fight against terrorism” in a critical tweet, wrote: “An editor-in-chief being arrested for writing a tweet is news all over the world. Let's see how many actually report it,” adding the hashtag #BasınÖzgürDeğil [the press is not free].
Journalist Sevgi Akarçeşme posted, “Another journalist could not go home this evening,” and later, tagging Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, she wrote, “Is everything going well?”
Emma Sinclair-Webb, the senior Turkey researcher for Human Rights Watch, referred to news of Keneş's arrest, saying, “Pre election crackdown in Turkey goes on w arrest of Today's Zaman editor Bülent Keneş 4 tweets critical of [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan.”
Former Milliyet columnist Aslı Aydıntaşbaş wrote, “I condemn the arrest of Bülent Keneş. Period. There is no point in saying this is Cemaat or that is [Peoples' Democratic Party] HDP. The point is that there aren't any journalists left in the country.”
Columnist for Today's Zaman and Taraf pelin cengiz tweeted, “This last week in free media in Turkey: Men who beat Ahmet Hakan are freed, [police] who put a gun to journalist's head is freed and Bülent Keneş is arrested.”
Veteran journalist Hasan Cemal, meanwhile, wrote, “Bülent Keneş, you're not alone.”
Journalist Amberin Zaman said @bkenes managing editor of @todayszamancom a leading english language #Turkish daily has been detained over??? you guessed it: a tweet.”
Dutch national Frederike Geerdink, a journalist formerly based in Diyarbakır but deported in September, posted, “the utter utter utter shame. #freebulentkenes.”
Published on Today's Zaman, 10 October 2015, Saturday