18 April 2014, Friday
Today's Zaman

Turkish journalist detained in Cairo makes Twitter appeal

30 September 2013, Monday /SİNEM CENGİZ, ANKARA
Metin Turan, a Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) reporter who has been detained in Egypt since mid-August, asked to be released “before the prison turns into a bloodbath,” in remarks aimed at Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.

“We are doing whatever is necessary. Our embassy in Cairo is in contact with the Egyptian authorities. We always keep the detention of Turkish citizens on the agenda at every meeting,” said a senior Turkish diplomat, speaking to Today's Zaman on condition of anonymity. The Foreign Ministry continues to receive information on Turan from Egyptian officials.

The TRT reporter broke his long silence on the social networking site Twitter, pleading for officials to “save him.”

Turan was detained on Aug. 17 in Cairo's Al-Fateh Mosque while covering the military crackdown on supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi. After being detained by Egyptian security forces on Aug. 18, he was first sent to Egypt's Tora prison complex in northern Cairo and later to the Wadi El Natrun prison complex in southern Cairo, where he is still waiting to be released.

Since then, the Egyptian authorities have extended Turan's detention two times on the grounds that the legal process of his detention remains unfinished. His detention was first extended for 15 days at the beginning of September.

That detention period expires at the end of September. On Monday, the Egyptian authorities were expected to announce whether Turan will be released or his detention time will be extended a third time.

Meanwhile, Turkish Ambassador to Egypt Hüseyin Avni Botsalı, who was recalled to Ankara in late August for consultations and then returned to Egypt in early September, told Today's Zaman that the embassy is continuing its efforts to free Turan and that embassy officials, including Botsalı, regularly visit Turan to observe his condition.

“We are in close contact with Turan's family and I, myself, am following the issue here very closely. We are waiting for the Egyptian authorities' decision. Also, all our citizens are under the protection of our embassy,” said Botsalı.

Reşat Öztürk, an employee working in Egypt, is another Turkish citizen who has been arrested by the Egyptian authorities on spying charges.

Turan shared a series of messages on his Twitter account, stating that he was able to post the tweets via a relative who came to visit him. The messages addressed Davutoğlu, asking him to intervene in Turan's release.

Noting that he had been behind bars for 44 days, Turan wrote that conditions in the prisons were harsh and that the prisoners were close to going on a hunger strike, finally asking to be saved “before the prison turns into a bloodbath.”

When combined, his tweets said: “Hello, my dear friends. I thank those who pray for me. I can contact you through a relative who came to visit me. Thank God, I'm all right but the prison conditions are too harsh here. I've been in the prison for 44 days and am still held captive. We, 36 people, sleep on concrete in a 40-square-meter area. There are two toilets and no bath. Dear Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, a hunger strike is about to start because the detention period stretches on for the prisoners here, which might end in chaos. I ask you to save me before this place turns into a bloodbath. Doesn't Turkey have allies? They could release me here if Turkey made contact with the United Arab Emirates.”

When asked whether Turkey would contact the UAE, the same diplomat replied that Turkey would not make a request to any country for the release of Turan.

Turkey and some Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait, have adopted opposing stances on the coup in Egypt, as Ankara condemned the coup while some Gulf states welcomed it and funneled financial aid to the Egyptian military regime.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi stated that Egypt expects the Turkish government to retract its harsh remarks regarding the recent situation in Egypt.

Turkey has emerged as one of the fiercest international critics of former President Morsi's removal, calling it an "unacceptable coup." Turkey announced that it does not recognize the coup administration in Egypt and still considers Morsi to be the country's “legitimate president.” Rhetoric on both sides heated up as Turkish officials maintained their critical stance towards the coup administration while the Egyptian side accused Ankara of interfering in its domestic affairs.

Turkish government should protect more agressively it's citizens, from Germany to Egypt, they are badly treated.
This is dictatorial arab regime who's motto is "if we are not in power you'll face all types of atrocities". The motive of the Egyptian thugs government is clear here, they have kept the turkish citizens hostage to make the turkish government listen to them. The same tactics they applied to Muslim b...
According to his tweets united arap emirates is playing so effective role on the government in egyp. If we consider the relations between turkey and egyp , there is not another option to change something.
This sound like a fake letter written by someone else trying to malign turkish govt. Im not doubting the credential of the journalist who is enduring the harsh consequences of the coup in egpyt. However a letter for help would not have any criticism in there like "doesnt turkey have allies" as if tu...
The poor mans big problem is is his question. "Doesn't Turkey have allies. Unfortunately Turkey has lost all it's allies.
Turkish government should help him
Click here to read all user comments
DIPLOMACY  Other Titles
KKTC pushing for Cyprus deal before end of this year
MEPs question EU Commission over EU funds to Turkey
Greece rejects extradition of leading DHKP/C member
Pro-gov't dailies report conflicting news on leaked audio on Syria
US warns against damage to ties over recurring media claims
KRG's Barzani visits Ankara for talks with Erdoğan
Villagers file suit against ministry over stray bullets from Syria
Chief ombudsman laments low implementation of KDK recommendations
Turkey says deeply concerned over events in Ukraine
Chinese deputy foreign minister in Ankara for inter-delegation meeting
‘Turkey will not remain silent over 'genocide resolution' if adopted’
Russia welcomes Turkey's assurances on observance of Montreux terms
Poland: NATO should send troops to east Europe, ignore Russia's objections
US looks to Turkey to uphold checks and balances
Dubai may be a hub for Turkey and Iran's illicit transactions
US House Speaker meets senior Turkish officials in Ankara
EU Minister Çavuşoğlu says Füle's comments on Turkey ‘balanced'
US Ambassador Ricciardone has talks with AK Party officials
Turkey's honorary consuls meet to discuss foreign policy
Iran to build cultural center in the heart of İstanbul
Loğoğlu: No Turkish institution in US works against Turkey
Erdoğan will further polarize Turkey as presidential election approaches
European Union concerned about rule of law in Turkey
Turkey seeks to restore dialogue with Serbia with FM's visit
Turkish Rights groups slam Egypt over execution ruling