WikiLeaks claims cost veteran Turkish journalist job

Veteran Turkish journalist and writer Fehmi Koru has parted ways with the Yeni Şafak daily, where he worked for 12 years, following allegations.

WikiLeaks claims cost veteran Turkish journalist job

World Bulletin / News Desk

Veteran Turkish journalist and writer Fehmi Koru has parted ways with the Yeni Şafak daily, where he worked for 12 years, following allegations by a fellow columnist at the newspaper in the aftermath of the WikiLeaks revelations.

Koru wrote his last column in Yeni Şafak in mid-December and nothing was heard from him for more than 10 days after that. During the time that he kept silent, much speculation was made about the columnist's absence. He broke his silence early this week, speaking to several TV stations in a bid to shed light on his departure from the daily, where he also served as a publication adviser.

An article written by Yeni Şafak's İbrahim Karagül on Dec. 7, following the release of the US diplomatic cables by online whistleblower WikiLeaks, started what resulted in Koru's departure from Yeni Şafak.

In his article, Karagül dwelled on allegations about Turkey in the WikiLeaks revelations, saying that since most of them came from the era of former US Ambassador Eric Edelman, he sees no problem in revealing how Edelman imposed pressure on the Turkish media during the Iraq occupation and worked for the dismissal of some journalists due to their anti-American approach.

He claimed that he was among the journalists Edelman wanted to dismiss because of his critical approach to US invasion into Iraq. Without mentioning any names, Karagül also said that Edelman used some journalists from Yeni Şafak to lobby for his dismissal from the daily.


Speaking to Cihan news agency, Koru denied Karagül's allegations and said no US ambassador had demanded that he lobby for the dismissal of any journalist at Yeni Şafak. “I never told my newspaper anything like, ‘The US ambassador does not want this journalist in our daily, you fire him.' This is a complete lie,” he said.

Koru said the claims against him may be a result of his opposition to the passage of the March 1 motion in Parliament in 2003, which would have allowed US troops to be deployed on Turkish soil during the Iraq invasion. The motion was not approved by the Turkish Parliament. “The March 1 motion is a defeat that was never forgotten by the neocon team which once tried to create a new world order,” he said.

Koru said he did not present his resignation to the daily but saw that his name was removed from the list of the newspaper's editorial staff, which meant that the daily parted ways with him.

About his future plans, Koru said although he has not yet received an offer from any other daily so far, he wants to continue writing in a newspaper where he can express his views freely. “I think the 2011 general elections are of crucial importance. I have my views and want to express them during this process,” he said.

Last Mod: 29 Aralık 2010, 12:30
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