PEN International is deeply concerned by reports of online threats and new charges against Ahmet Şık. The new charges by prosecutors allege that comments made by Şık as he left prison were “threatening” to judges and prosecutors. PEN considers the comments made by Şik to be legitimate, and urges the authorities to condemn and investigate threats of violence made against the writer. PEN continues to be concerned that he and Nedim Şener are being tried on charges that contravene their rights to freedom of expression, and that not enough is being done to ensure their safety because of their dissenting views.

Background Information

Just four days after Şık’s release, a person using the pseudonym “Faiz Düsmani” (Enemy of Interest) posted a message on Twitter stating: “Attention, attention. I warn the government and those that can should also inform it. Ergenekon is planning to assassinate Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener. [The organization] is going to kill them and then blame the [Gülen religious] community.” The online threats, posted on social networking site Twitter, warn of an assassination attempt against the writers, but have so far gone uninvestigated by Turkish authorities.

PEN takes these threats very seriously and would like to echo Reporters Without Borders in calling for the Turkish authorities to thoroughly investigate the source of this Tweet.

New Charges
Bianet reports that the new investigation launched against Ahmet Şık accuses him of “threatening judges and prosecutors and depicting them as targets for terrorist organizations” in comments he made to the press upon his release from Istanbul’s Silivri prison.

Şık had said, “Incomplete justice is not going to bring justice and democracy. About one hundred journalists are still in prison, just related to my trial there are five detainees. The issue of freedom of expression is not only a problem of journalists. We are going to continue the struggle. The police officers, prosecutors and judges who plotted and carried out this conspiracy will go to prison. Justice will come when they enter this prison.”

Police are said to have seized the draft manuscript of The Imam’s Army, a book by Ahmet Şık, an investigative journalist and author. He is said to have looked into the alleged affiliation of the Turkish police to the Gülen movement. The Gülen movement is an Islamic organization that promotes inter-faith dialogue. He is already on trial for two books on Ergenekon, co-authored with journalist Ertugrul Maviolgu. This trial began in October 2010 and, if convicted, Şık faces over four years in prison.

Nedim Şener was tried and acquitted in 2010 for his book implicating the Turkish security forces in the 2007 murder of Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor Hrant Dink. He has since written two other books on related issues, Red Friday—Who Broke Dink’s Pen? and Fetullah Gülen and the Gülen Community in Ergenekon Documents. It is thought that Şener’s arrest is linked to his research into suggestions that the movement holds undue influence in the Ergenekon investigation. Şener and Şık are accused of divulging state secrets.

The journalists were released this month after over a year in prison. However, the trial against them, a process that can last for months, even years, will continue.

More Information:

Write A Letter

  • Requesting the authorities condemn the threats against Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener, and provide protection;
  • Expressing concern about the threat of additional prosecution for comments made on Şık's release;
  • Expressing concerns that the two men are being prosecuted on charges that contravene their right to freedom of expression as guaranteed under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Send Your Letter To

Mr Sadullah Ergin
Minister of Justice
06669 Kizilay
Fax: 00 90 312 419 3370

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representatives for Turkey in your country if possible.

Please check with PEN if sending appeals after June 18, 2012: ftw [at]