Cumhuriyet, 18 of whose journalists were detained last week, is a paper which is still free to print and independent. The paper has a long history, being established early on in the history of the Republic. In 1924 Atatürk called Yunus Nadi and told him to establish a newspaper that would fight those who were opposed to the establishment of a secular republic, preferring the caliphate. That is, from the beginning Cumhuriyet has been a media organ that wears its Kemalist secularism, a secularism that oppresses freedom of religion and belief, on its sleeve.
The first news-sheet was published by James Franklin, the older brother of Benjamin Franklin. The older Franklin established The New England Courant, along with his colleagues, who were collectively known as the "Hell-Fire Club". Their paper, which included essays and satirical articles, angered the elite classes in the colony.
The journalists working for Cumhuriyet who have been detained are not being questioned about what they have written. They are being questioned because there is evidence that they have cooperated with terrorist organizations active in Turkey. There are many journalists in Turkey who have integrity and who try to carry out their profession in the most honorable way. And there are also many who do not have integrity and who abuse their profession to disguise more nefarious actions.
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