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We Are Arrested

A Journalist's Notes from a Turkish Prison

Can Dundar

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BITEBACK PUBLISHING
01 December 2016
Society & Social Sciences; Ethical issues: censorship; Human rights; Freedom of information & freedom of speech
In November 2015 Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of Turkey's Cumhuriyet newspaper and its Ankara Bureau Chief Erdem Gul were arrested on charges of divulging state secrets and espionage. Their so-called crime was informing the public of the discovery of a covert arms shipment. The newspaper had obtained footage taken months earlier by the police when they intercepted several trucks ostensibly shipping medicines to Syria. Searches revealed weapons hidden beneath boxes of medicines; the drivers turned out to be from Turkey's National Intelligence Agency. Having assumed an authority it did not have, the country's intelligence service was secretly shipping weapons to a neighbouring country, destined, in all likelihood, for radical Islamist organisations - illegally making Turkey a party in the Syrian civil war.

This was a crime that was in the government's interest to conceal, and a journalist's duty to expose.  But whereas in other famous cases of political wrong-doing - Watergate,  Iran -Contra, the Pentagon Papers - it was the guilty who were prosecuted, in Turkey today, it is often the journalist.

The title of the book is taken from Can Dundar's tweet on the day he was detained. The book is his account of the discovery, the weighing up of the pros and cons of publishing, and the events that unfolded after the decision. Dundar and the newspaper faced police barricades, would-be suicide bombers and assassination attempts, as well as fierce attacks from pro-government media.

Incarcerated in Silivri Prison, Dundar decided to write down his experiences. Here, in isolation, he learned to appreciate the little things: writing loved ones' names in fresh snow in massive letters so pas­sing aeroplanes can read them, the taste of a hot cheese toastie, the kindness of strangers and the importance of love. Most importantly, he realised that courage in an age of fear is essential if the public's right to know is to be defended.
By:   Can Dundar
Imprint:   BITEBACK PUBLISHING
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 128mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   500g
ISBN:   9781785901386
ISBN 10:   1785901389
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   01 December 2016
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Can Dundar (b. 16 June 1961 in Ankara) obtained his BA from the Ankara University Faculty of Political Sciences in 1982 before attending the London School of Journalism in 1986. He earned his Master's degree from the Middle Eastern Technical University Department of Political Sciences in 1988 and his PhD from the same department in 1996. A journalist and lecturer, Dundar has also written over two dozen books and produced sixteen TV documentaries. He was appointed as the editor-in-chief of the venerable daily Cumhuriyet in 2015.

Reviews for We Are Arrested: A Journalist's Notes from a Turkish Prison

Can Dundar is a very courageous journalist. - Orphan Pamuk; Can Dundar belongs to that elite of extraordinarily brave journalists who risk everything so the world can know the truth. His voice honours a great country in peril. - Jennifer Clement, President PEN International


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