Aydınlık Chief Editor Deniz Yıldırım Freed
Deniz Yıldırım, the former Chief Editor of Aydınlık newspaper has been released from the Silivri prison, where he had been staying since 9 November 2009. Yıldırım was arrested and jailed for leaking telephone conversations of PM Erdoğan to the media.
First he published a telephone conversation between PM Erdoğan and Mehmet Ali Talat, the PM of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the 18 october 2009. PM Erdoğan was giving tactical advice to PM Talat and explaining how to eliminate Rauf Denktaş, the founder and the legendary leader of the Northern Cyprus, in the conversation.
After that, he published another telephone conversation between PM Erdoğan and the businessman Remzi Gül, which provided evidence of PM Erdoğan's questionable financial relations with the businessman.
On 25 October 2009, under the headline “Remzi Gür, Tayyip’s Secret Vault,” Aydınlık published a conversation between Erdoğan and Gür, Erdoğan demanded that Remzi Gür send money to his daughter. This was the first time that PM Erdoğan's questionable financial relations became blindingly obvious since he came to power.
Prosecutors immediately launched an operation against Aydınlık and Ulusal Kanal in order to cover up the incident. Yıldırım had been locked up in Silivri Prison since then. His crime was publishing recordings detailing Erdoğan’s financial misdeeds. However these recordings were sent to all press organisations during the Ergenekon trial.
At the time when Yıldırım was the Chief Editor of Aydınlık, he did not hesitate to publish any single news report regarding the covert operations of the ruling AKP. He announced the documents which hidden in Turkish National Intelligence Organization's headquarters, related to the Ergenekon trial. He uncovered the plots organized against the Turkish Armed Forces and the Republic. His imprisonment was the price he paid for challenging imperialism and its local collaborators in the country.
İlker Yücel, the Chief Editor of Aydınlık after Yıldırım wrote in his column in 22 December 2013, "Yıldırım was taken to jail for publishing a voice recording scoop that ‘journalists’ were scared to touch. He pursued the launderers of dark money, the income of councils, the favours of the Saving Deposit Insurance Fund, the bribes."
The pro-government media targeted Deniz Yıldırım during the days when the secret telephone conversations leaked to the media. The News Director of Ulusal Channel, Ufuk Akkaya, and the Chief Editor Turhan Özlü were accused with the same allegations, as well as the Worker's Party administrators Mehmet Bedri Gültekin and Erkan Önsel.
Yıldırım was arrested for publishing the texts of the related telephone conversations in November 2009 and always pointed out in his defences that "the network which is conducting the wire-tapping operations is inside the state" as has been revealed today.