On Thursday, Ayşenur Arslan, a prominent journalist in Turkey, became a target of the political administration and the government media for the things she said about the Turkish Resistance Organisation (TMT), a paramilitary organisation in Cyprus that later formed the Security Forces Command following the occupation of the northern part of the island by the Turkish military in 1974.
As she spoke on Halk TV about the recent assassination of a shady businessperson, Halil Falyalı, in Cyprus, Arslan noted that Falyalı had identified himself as a member of TMT, and went on saying:
“The Turkish Resistance Organisation was a semi-official, and let me say, an illegal formation, which was known for its assassinations in the island and in the close periphery.”
Lawyers for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its partners, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Grand Union Party (BBP), both of which have their own Grey Wolf groups, have separately filed criminal complaints on Thursday over Arslan’s remark.
In the complaint filed by AKP’s lawyer, it said: “It’s unfortunately impossible to comprehend why the suspect has implicated the Turkish Resistance Organisation and why she has such opinions about TMT, which gave a struggle for the Cypriot Turk, and many members of whom were martyred in the struggle. The suspect has violated an article of the Turkish Criminal Law no. 301 concerning offences of ‘insulting the Turkish people, the state of the Turkish Republic, and the institutions of the state’ by describing TMT as an illegal formation and alleging that it carried out assassinations.”
The complaint by MHP similarly appealed for Arslan to be indicted on the grounds of violating the same law.
As Arslan later apologised to people who were ‘understandably sensitive’ on the issue, stating that she still stood behind what she’d said, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜ) launched an investigation about the TV channel on which her show was broadcast.
Arslan has also been subjected to harsh words amounting to lynching on TV channels unconditionally supportive of the political administration.