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Turkey: Outspoken Hurriyet columnist said dismissed

BBC Monitoring

Text of report by Turkish newspaper Sabah website on 15 August

Emin Colasan, a known opponent of the government, has been silenced. Colasan had worked for Hurriyet for 22 years.

Emin Colasan, a Hurriyet columnist known for his opposition to the government, has been fired. When it was announced that Calisan had been handed his cards many telephone calls were made both to the Istanbul central office and the Ankara office voicing objections. The newspaper's Editor in Chief Ertugrul Ozkok announced yesterday evening that Colasan had been given his marching orders. Colasan, who had worked for Hurriyet for 22 years, had written many books throughout his career. Colasan was known for his articles opposing the government under every term. Before the AKP's [Justice and Development Party] time, Colasan had made his most vociferous opposition during Turgut Ozal's time.

"They will probably fire me"

Emin Colasan was an outspoken critic of the AKP government recently. Over the past few years Colasan had ruffled feathers within his newspaper but those problems had been worked out. However, the latest dispute was ended when Colasan's contract with the newspaper was dissolved. When he heard that Yilmaz Ozdil was going to write for Hurriyet Colasan reportedly told his friends that this transfer meant "they will probably lay me off." In his column yesterday Ertugrul Ozkok praised Bekir Coskun and Yilmaz Ozdil but did not mention Emin Colasan, which was seen as significant. In the same column Ozkok wrote, "When a journalist tries to pass off things like insults, imputations, implications, name-calling, and unfairness as opposition..." he was reportedly referring to Colasan. Together with Colasan being laid off the rumour also spread that Hurriyet columnists Bekir Coskun and Tufan Turenc had also resigned. However, this news was later refuted by Turenc ! and Coskun.

Source: Sabah website, Istanbul, in Turkish 15 Aug 07


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