Monday

19th Nov 2018

Letter

A letter from Turkey's ambassador to the EU

  • The ambassador wrote this letter in response to an opinion article by Selcuk Gultasi about the trial of journalists from the Zaman newspaper. (Photo: svenwerk)

Following publication on Tuesday (19 September) of an opinion article by Selcuk Gultasi about the trial of journalists from the Zaman newspaper, EUobserver received this letter by Turkey's envoy to the EU, Faruk Kaymakci, which we published as a right of reply:

I wish to express at the outset that, thanks to EUobserver's balanced coverage, we are able to follow developments closely on a wide range of issues related to the European Union, here at the Permanent Delegation of Turkey to the EU.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Hence, it came to our attention that an opinion article by Zaman newspaper's Brussels bureau chief had been published on your website on Tuesday. With all due respect to your editorial independence and the decision to publish the said piece, I deem it necessary to bring to your consideration the following:

The article in question is yet another attempt to whitewash the Fetullahist Terrorist Organisation (FETO) which blatantly orchestrated - coming to light as confessions by FETO military operatives accumulate - the 15 July failed coup attempt.

In connection to this, it must be emphasised that Zaman newspaper had served as a mouthpiece of FETO, which tried to violently overthrow the democratically elected government, assassinate our president (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) and ultimately hijack the sovereignty of the Turkish people on the eve of 15 July 2016.

The article also aims at distorting the ongoing legal proceedings against the putschists, by ultimately tarnishing the image of Turkey in the eyes of the EU public opinion with unfounded claims against the independence of the judiciary, as well as the purported lack of freedom of press and expression.

The fact of the matter is that Turkey, having survived a bloody coup attempt which cost the lives of 250 citizens, is fighting against the scourge of terrorism on multiple fronts - Daesh, PKK and FETO - in accordance with our national legislation, in line with the principles of the rule of law, and in observance of our international obligations.

Within these well-defined limits, no media outlet nor journalist in Turkey is detained for their journalistic activities, but face legal charges for alleged criminal links and actions. The legal rights of all journalists facing trial are under protection. They benefit from legal assistance and other related defence rights.

Contrary to the false claims and accusations in the said article, utmost attention is needed to avoid meddling with the course of justice.

I am of the conviction that EUobserver readers and the wider EU public have the right to form their opinion against this backdrop.

Hence, I kindly urge you to publish this communication in the format that suits your publication's editorial layout. Should you decide to take the idea on board, I would very much appreciate to be informed about how it would appear beforehand.

Looking forward to your positive cooperation,

Yours sincerely,

Faruk Kaymakci

We invited the Turkish mission to the EU to address specific allegations contained in Selcuk Gultasi's opinion article. In his answer to that, Kaymakci said: "I believe to have sufficiently debunked the baseless claims and accusations in the said article which aims at discrediting the Turkish judiciary and grossly misrepresenting the putschist Fetullahist Terrorist Organisation (FETO) as a benign 'faith-based movement'."

Turkish journalists on trial for fake crimes

Journalists from Turkey's Zaman newspaper stand trial this week on fake charges that include "perception engineering" and "violating the rights of statesmen".

Overcoming the plot against Turkish democracy

One year after an attempted coup, what Turkey needs is not biased and groundless criticism but more cooperation, dialogue and understanding, writes its Europe minister Omer Celik.

Turkey poised for first EU budget cut

"Turkey is going in a direction that is the very opposite of EU standards," Siegfried Muresan, the MEP spearheading the cuts, has said.

Panic is not answer to EU's security challenges

EU foreign ministers must choose between contaminating their civilian missions and operations with panic over security and migration, and reaffirming the EU's core values as a global actor for peace and development.

EU must recognise new force for Balkans destabilisation

EU foreign ministers will discuss Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday. The EU has the opportunity to show that it is not a political dwarf in the Balkans, where not only economic, but also political reforms are necessary.

News in Brief

  1. Ireland extradites Polish man despite rule of law concerns
  2. Germany and France agree eurozone budget framework
  3. Austrian foreign minister: EU's Israel policy 'too strict'
  4. Soros and Kurz discuss Central European University move
  5. EU set to tighten rules on foreign strategic investment
  6. Macron repeats call for unified Europe in Bundestag speech
  7. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  8. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem

Why 'Spitzenkandidat' is probably here to stay

The power of the parliament to 'appoint' the president of the EU Commission is new, highly-contested - and not universally understood. In fact, even some of the lead candidates to replace Jean-Claude Juncker are against it.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Spain raises Gibraltar, as EU and UK talk post-2020 relationship
  2. Panic is not answer to EU's security challenges
  3. Dutch flesh out proposal for EU human rights sanctions
  4. EU cheerleaders go to Russia-occupied Ukraine
  5. EU must recognise new force for Balkans destabilisation
  6. Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK
  7. How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars
  8. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us