April 14, 2015

NY politicians not permitted to visit Turkish journalist in jail

Three New York politicians have been prevented by the management of Silivri Prison from visiting Samanyolu Broadcasting Group General Manager Hidayet Karaca, who has been held under arrest in the prison since a government-backed police operation was carried out against independent media outlets on Dec. 14, 2014.

New York State Assembly members Joseph Saladino and Joseph Borelli along with New York City Council member Vincent M. Ignizio came to İstanbul to meet with Karaca at the prison. However, the management of Silivri Prison denied the US politicians permission to meet the journalist.

The US politicians told members of the press that they were dismayed at having been denied permission to meet Karaca, adding that they had come to Turkey to learn why journalists are being detained and arrested in the country.

Saladino told the Cihan news agency that Turkish people living in the US wonder why Karaca is being held in prison, adding that they came to learn the reasons and would subsequently share the details with their colleagues if they had been able to meet Karaca.

Karaca was detained along with Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı in the government-backed media operation on Dec. 14, 2014. The operation principally targeted media outlets that are close to the Gülen movement (or Hizmet movement), which is inspired by the teachings of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

Karaca was later arrested on Dec. 19, 2014 on suspicion of heading a terrorist group based on a TV series that was broadcast years ago on his television station. He has since been held at Silivri Prison.

Published on Today's Zaman, 14 April 2015, Tuesday