Prominent Turkish journalist Ahmet Şık, who has been imprisoned several times, has announced he is running for a seat in parliament with the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for Istanbul.
“I am running to help break this silence and to enlighten our country with the light of the truth,” Şık, a correspondent for the daily Cumhuriyet, said in a written statement on Twitter on May 17.
“I am running to win today with our people who long for lives that have been postponed for too long,” the statement added.
“I am running to help create a life in which our children’s dreams become realities,” it read.
Şık, along with other journalists from daily Cumhuriyet, was convicted on April 25 by a Turkish court of helping outlawed “terrorist” organizations.
The Istanbul court handed out multiple sentences to 13 journalists, including Şık and executives, for “aiding and abetting terror organizations without being a member” but they remain free pending appeal.
They were all charged with supporting, through their coverage, three organizations: Outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the ultra-leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), also known as the Gülen movement and blamed for the 2016 failed coup.
Şık is seen as one of Turkey’s most incisive critics of the Gülen movement. In 2011, he wrote an explosive book, “The Imam’s Army,” which exposed the grip the group had on key Turkish institutions.
He was given a seven-and-a-half year sentence.