Turkey: A publication called "Aydinlik"
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||9 October 2003|
|Citation / Document Symbol||TUR41959.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Turkey: A publication called "Aydinlik", 9 October 2003, TUR41959.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/403dd21f0.html [accessed 19 December 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
An English-language version of the publication called Aydinlik is not available on its Website (19 Jan. 2003). However, sources variously describe Aydinlik as a left-wing newspaper that is published weekly (WSW 18 July 2003; CPJ 21 May 1996; CSM 21 Mar. 2002) and edited by Dogu Perinçek (EFID 21 Feb. 2002), the chairman of the Worker's Party (Isci Partisi) (RFE/RL 22 Feb. 2002). The World Socialist Website (WSW) describes Aydinlik as the voice of the nationalist-Stalinist "'left'" calling for "workers and the Turkish armed forces [to] stand together" (18 July 2003).
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Aydinlik was censored twice in May 1996, once for publishing an allegation made by a "leader of Turkey's criminal underworld" that Minister of Justice Mehmet Agar was involved in organized crime, and a second time for insulting the judiciary for its decision to order the removal of the aforementioned article (21 May 1996). Sources also report that Aydinlik's offices were raided by "fundamentalists" in 1994 when the newspaper attempted to publish a Turkish translation of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses (NI June 1994; CJR Nov/Dec. 1994).
More recently, the US Department of State's International Religious Freedom Report 2002 claims that Aydinlik, among other media sources, published anti-Christian messages and that the "fringe" newspaper had published a list of 40 Izmir-based churches that were allegedly bribing converts (7 Oct. 2002).
Several sources report on what Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) described as a scandal (22 Feb. 2002), that occurred in February 2002 when Aydinlik published a series of emails sent by European Commission envoy Karen Fogg to European Union (EU) officials in Brussels (EFID 21 Feb. 2002; CSM 21 Mar. 2002; RFE/RL 22 Feb. 2002; TDN 12 Mar. 2002; AP 20 Nov. 2002). According to RFE/RL, Dogu Perinçek, a "radical anti-American, anti-European and anti-capitalist" said that he published the messages to prove that Karen Fogg was undermining Turkey's national interests during accession talks with the EU (22 Feb. 2002). Perinçek was eventually charged with "illegally obtaining and reproducing private data with intent of harming others" and faced a three year prison sentence, but he was acquitted when the charges were dropped on the grounds that Karen Fogg had not filed a complaint (AP 20 Nov. 2002).
In an English summary of a French news article on the so-called "Karen Fogg" affair published by Le Monde on 20 February 2002, the European Foundation Intelligence Digest (EFID) reported Le Monde as describing Dogu Perinçek as "'an extreme nationalist and anti-European''' who claims to have close ties with Turkey's army and secret service, which he says, are hostile to integration with Europe (21 Feb. 2002).
The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) warned that "Aydinlik's revelations have threatened not only to unbalance Turkey's unlikely government coalition of ultranationalists and pro-European liberals ... they have also stoked a national debate given new urgency by the events of September 11" (21 Mar. 2002).
Additional information on Aydinlik could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
The Associated Press (AP). 20 November 2002. "Perincek Aquitted of Publishing EU Ambassador's E-mails."
Aydinlik. 19 January 2003. "Aydinlik."
Christian Science Monitor (CSM) [Boston]. 21 March 2002. Nicholas Birch. "Once Eager to Join EU, Turkey Grows Apprehensive."
Columbia Journalism Review (CJR). November/December 1994. Yalman Onaran. "Burned: An Author Charged With Inciting a Crowd to Kill Him."
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), New York. 21 May 1996. "Aydinlik, Censored."
European Foundation Intelligence Digest (ERID) [London]. 21 February 2002. Issue 136. "E-mail Row Spooks Relations Between EU and Turkey."
International Religious Freedom Report 2002. 7 October 2002. United States Department of State. Washington, DC.
New Internationalist (NI) [Oxford]. June 1994. Ivy Anderson. Issue 256. "The Mafia and Mrs. Ciller."
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) [Prague]. 22 February 2002. Weekday Magazine. Jean-Christophe Peuch. "EU: E-Mail Publication In Turkey Causes Diplomatic Row."
Turkish Daily News (TDN) [Ankara]. 12 March 2002. "Fogg Case Opened: Perincek Faces Three Years Imprisonment."
World Socialist Website (WSW). 18 July 2003. Justus Leicht and Sinan Inkinci. "Turkey: Power Struggle Between Government and Army."
Additional Sources Consulted
The Middle East
Middle East Report
Political Handbook of the World
Internet sites including:
Hellenic Resources Network
Human Rights Internet
Human Rights Net
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Without Borders
International Federation of Journalists
International Press Institute
International Relations and Security Network
Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA)
Progressive Journalists Association
Reporters Without Borders