Book hunt moves to Radikal’s office

Police searches for possible drafts of what was said to be an unpublished book by journalist Ahmet Şık extended to the offices of daily Radikal on Thursday. Officers who went to the Hürriyet Medya Towers building asked for copies of the ‘The Imam’s Army’ draft from journalist Ertuğrul Mavioğlu based on a court decision that called it an ‘illegal organizational document’

Police operations against copies of a “draft book” spread to the offices of a mainstream newspaper for the first time Thursday, as officers raided the headquarters of Radikal, a sister newspaper of the Hürriyet Daily News.

Acting upon a court decision accompanied by orders from Ergenekon Prosecutor Zekeriya Öz, two police officers entered the Hürriyet Medya Towers in Istanbul’s Güneşli neighborhood, going to the 13th floor to confiscate “a possible copy” of the unpublished manuscript from investigative reporter Ertuğrul Mavioğlu.

The “draft” was written by journalist Ahmet Şık, who currently is under arrest in the Ergenekon case, and allegedly was sent to Mavioğlu to get his opinion. Two police officers asked for a copy of Şık’s draft of “The Imam’s Army,” confiscated it in printed form and told Mavioğlu to delete it from his computer.

The court decision characterized the draft as an “illegal organizational document.”

The decision by the 12th Court for Serious Crimes read: “It was understood that directives and notes written by the organization’s prominent name Soner Yalçın were inserted into the drafts of a book being written by Ahmet Şık. It was pointed out that the drafts contained propaganda for the Ergenekon terror organization, and aimed at affecting a fair trial and causing disinformation and sensation among the public, thus giving organization members moral support and motivation.”

“Ahmet had given me the draft previously to have a look at it,” Mavioğlu said as the police operation proceeded. “I have had a look but have no [clear] idea [on its content].”

“I feel so sorry that I live in this country, that such a thing could be done to journalists,” he said.

A complicated agreement

After talks with lawyers from the Hürriyet Media Group, of which Radikal is a member, the police decided to retrieve a printed copy of the draft and then delete the copy on Mavioğlu’s computer. The police also took images of the draft book from the computer screen. The draft was not handed over in an electronic format, due to suspicions by both parties that something could be added afterwards to the digital copy. The empty sections of printed pages were also marked by lawyers who wrote “This page is empty” on empty back pages, in order to avoid anything else being added afterwards.

“I am not pleased even with this agreement [on the printed copy]; this is such a bad thing done to us,” Mavioğlu said in the hall outside the paper’s office. The police did not allow their images to be recorded by photographers or camera operators.

According to the court decision that resulted in the raid, Şık’s writings “do not have the characteristics of a book,” but represent the Ergenekon organization’s “orders and directives to be included in the manuscript,” which “have been placed between paragraphs” and thus the text carries “characteristics of an organizational document.”

Kaynak: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=police-raids-newspaper-office-for-8216draft-book8217-2011-03-24 (Erişim: 24.03.2011)

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