Dear Mehmet,

How are you? Well I’m sure that you are not ok. Living in detention has never been ok because you have no freedom. As an investigative journalist, writing is the greatest happiness for you. I’m sure that your colleague in Taraf newspaper and the readers are missing you so much.

Source : www.724haberal.com

                  Source : http://www.724haberal.com

Dear Mehmet, I don’t know about you. I’m just an ordinary Indonesian girl who likes keeping up with Turkish political news. I knew about your detention by reading turkish online newspaper. I’m so sad with what has happened to you. It reminds me of what happened to an Indonesian journalist several years ago. Do you want to know about it,  Mehmet?

Fuad Muhammad “Udin” Syafruddin was an investigative journalist, just like you. Tragically, he was killed at his house on 16 August 1996. Until now, his mysterious murder has not been resolved.  To know more about the case, Mehmet, you need to understand political situation in Indonesia at that time. In 1996, we were still living under the authoritarian regime of General Soeharto. At that time, General Soeharto oppressed critical journalists and political opponents, just like what happens in your country right now.

Picture of Udin. Source : skalanews.com

                    Picture of Udin. Source : skalanews.com

Udin worked at Bernas Daily Newspaper in Yogyakarta. Before he died, he wrote a series of articles on corruption in Bantul regency.  His murder became a national issue because it was presumed that local government officials was involved. Instead, police didn’t arrest the real murderer but sacrificed a man named Dwi Sumaji a.k.a Iwik. That stupid police charged Iwik with : “murder because of jealousy”. Later, he was acquitted by judges due to lack of evidence.

Dear Mehmet, several weeks ago I read that you have been transferred to unhygienic cells with inhumane condition along with Hidayet Karaca (president of Samanyolu Broadcasting Group) and some police officers. Even they didn’t provide you  with fork and spoon to eat! That’s why on the first paragraph in this letter I said that you’re not ok. Besides, I’ve read that you were detained because of releasing classified documents by publishing it on Taraf newspaper. Well, whatever was it, you just did your job, for the sake of public interest. Nevertheless, I understand that some people don’t like what you did . “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong”, said Voltaire.

Sadly, in your country, journalist imprisonment is becoming a trend. On 1 December 2014, Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) released a report on imprisonment of journalists worldwide. It was said that there were 7 Turkish journalists who were being jailed. And I’m sure that the number will be increasing because more and more journalists have been arrested and detained so far in 2015.

In my country right now, none of journalist are taken to court and imprisoned but sometimes they are always become target of violence by police. Freedom, justice, and democracy are quite expensive here in my beloved country, dear. Uhmmm…what else should I write?? Ah, I remember that you were detained on 2 March 2015. It means that you were detained 5 days before your birthday!!!! Celebrating (or not celebrating it ?) your birthday in detention was tragic. I can’t imagine the pain that you bear! 

Dear Mehmet, I hope you keep going strong although it’s very hard. I hope political situation in your country will be better as soon as possible. Let’s hope and pray that the best is yet to come after the general election on 7 June. Deposuit Potentes de Sede et Extalavat Humiles (He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted those who were humble). Keep fighting, Mehmet, hiçbir zaman yalnız yürümeyeceksin (you’ll never walk alone). As you said when you were handcuffed by the police : “I’m going to bury them [those pressing charges against me] in the trash bin of history. These handcuffs are my pride. Journalism is my pride”. Never lose your pride, dear!

Baransu was handcuffed. Source: zaman.com.tr

                  Baransu was handcuffed. Source: zaman.com.tr

 

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