Ahmet Şık

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Ahmet Şık
Turkish journalist Ahmet Şık
Born1970 (age 48–49)

Ahmet Şık (IPA: [ahmet ʃɯk]; born 1970, Adana) is a Turkish investigative journalist, the author of several books, a trade unionist, and member of Parliament in Turkey.[1] His book, The Imam's Army, investigating the controversial Gülen movement of the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, led to his detention for a year in 2011–2012 and the book's being seized and banned. He remains under indictment in the OdaTV case of the Ergenekon trials; his cause has been taken up by English PEN, an association of writers fighting for freedom of expression.[2] In 2016, the prosecutor in this case requested Şık's acquittal.[3] On 29 December 2016, Şık was taken into custody once again on charges of "propaganda of terrorist organisations", with reference to 11 tweets that he had published.[4][5] The following day, an Istanbul judge ordered Ahmet's arrest.[6] According to lawyers, Şık was denied access to legal advice, held in solitary confinement, and not given drinking water for three days.[7][8]


Şık studied Journalism at Istanbul University. Between 1991 and 2007, Şık worked for several major Turkish newspapers including Cumhuriyet, Radikal, Evrensel, and Yeni Yüzyıl. He also worked at Nokta magazine and Reuters News Agency as a photo journalist. He turned to academic work when he was dismissed for his trade unionist activities.[1] In 1998, he was hospitalized "after a pro-police mob, furious about a murder conviction against several cops in a torture case, attacked the victim’s lawyers, the prosecutor, and journalists. In 2009, he fled the country for a year, fearing officials who had been targets of his reporting."[9]

Ahmet Şık is a member of the Turkish Journalists' Union (Turkish: Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikası, TGS) and the Association of Contemporary Journalists (Turkish: Çağdaş Gazeteciler Derneği, ÇGD). In dailies, weeklies, and monthlies, he has published on human rights, journalism, and professional ethics.[1]

Political career[edit]

Şık was elected as a Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputy for İstanbul's second electoral district in the 2018 parliamentary election.[10]

Legal charges[edit]

Article in Nokta[edit]

On 2 April 2008 Lale Sarıibrahimoğlu (columnist in the daily Today's Zaman, also known as Lale Kemal) and Ahmet Şık were acquitted of charges of insulting the military under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which penalizes the denigration of “Turkishness” or the Turkish army. Bakırköy 2nd Court of First Instance in İstanbul ruled that the article titled “The military should withdraw its hand from internal security” in the 8 February 2007 edition of weekly Nokta should be evaluated as “harsh criticism” and its publication does not constitute a criminal offence.[11]

Kırk katır, kırk satır[edit]

In June 2010, after the publication of the two-volume book Kırk katır, kırk satır, Şık and his co-author Ertuğrul Mavioğlu were indicted on charges of "breaching confidentiality of the documents" relating to the Ergenekon trials, with the prosecutor requesting a term of 4 years and 6 months.[12] The authors were eventually acquitted in May 2011.[13]

The Imam's Army[edit]

The Imam's Army (Turkish: İmamın Ordusu) is a book by Şık investigating the life and work of Fethullah Gülen and his Gülen movement. Şık was detained in March 2011, before the book was published, and the draft book was seized by the government and banned. Şık was detained pending trial, being eventually released pending trial in March 2012. In the interim, in an act of anti-censorship defiance, a version of the book was released in November 2011 under the name 000Kitap (000Book), edited by 125 journalists, activists and academics, and published by Postacı Publishing House.[14]

The Imam's Army release comments[edit]

On 30 July 2012, an Istanbul court accepted a new indictment against Şık, charging him with threatening and defaming civil servants for their duties.[15] The charges, for which the prosecutor is seeking a penalty of up to seven years imprisonment, are based on a declaration Şık gave to the press immediately upon his release from Silivri prison, in which he stated, "The police, prosecutors and judges who plotted and executed this conspiracy will enter this prison."[15]

Paralel Yürüdük Biz Bu Yollarda[edit]

In 2015, Şık published his book Paralel Yürüdük Biz Bu Yollarda on the relationship between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Gülen movement, which had been classified as a terrorist organization by the AKP by the time the book was written.[5] He was indicted twice with charges of insulting Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım due to his public duties; in one of these cases, he was ordered to pay 4,000 Turkish liras; in another, the prosecutor demanded his imprisonment for up to two years and four months.[16]

Private life[edit]

Ahmet Şık is the brother of Bülent Şık, an environmental scientist and a whistleblower.[17]


  • Together with Ertuğrul Mavioğlu: "40 mules, 40 cleavers" (Kırk katır, kırk satır), consisting of two volumes:
  • Ergenekon'da Kim Kimdir? (Who is Who in Ergenekon?) 2010. ISBN 978-605-375-037-6
  • Kontrgerilla ve Ergenekon’u Anlama Kılavuzu (Guide to Understanding the Contraguerrilla and Ergenekon) 2010. ISBN 978-605-375-031-4
  • Ambush: The State's New Owners (Pusu: Devletin Yeni Sahipleri), 2012. ISBN 9786058737723.
  • 000Book (000Kitap), initially released online in draft form as "The Imam's Army" (İmamın Ordusu), 2012. ISBN 978-605-873-770-9
  • We Walked These Roads In Parallel (Paralel Yürüdük Biz Bu Yollarda), 2015. ISBN 978-605-64355-3-9


  • Bülent Dikmener Haber Ödülü (en: Bülent Dikmenler News Award) (1994)[1]
  • Türkiye Gazeteciler Cemiyeti Fotoğraf Ödülü (en: Photography Award of the Turkish Journalists' Association) (1995)[1]
  • Metin Göktepe Gazetecilik Ödülü (Metin Göktepe Journalism Award) (2001-2002-2007)[1]
    • In 2001 for the best article in the printed press for the article "The underground killers" (tr: Yeraltındaki Katiller)
    • In 2002 special award from the jury for the article "Back to Reality" (tr: Gerçeğe Dönüş)
    • In 2007 special award from the jury for the article "There are two kinds of journalists: Opponents of the Turkish Armed Forces TSK and followers of the TSK" (tr: İki tür gazeteci vardır: TSK karşıtları, TSK yandaşları)[1]
  • Çağdaş Gazeteciler Derneği Haber Ödülü (en: News Award from the Association of Contemporary Journalists) (2002-2003-2005)[1]
  • UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize (2014)[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Details on this website Archived 2011-04-10 at the Wayback Machine; accessed on 11 April 2011
  2. ^ English PEN, 14 March 2013, Turkey Focus 2013: Ahmet Şık
  3. ^ "Odatv davasında savcı beraat istedi... Ahmet Şık: Basit bir beraat istemiyoruz". Cumhuriyet. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Ahmet Şık tutuklama talebiyle mahkemeye sevk edildi". Hürriyet. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Ahmet Şık Kimdir?". Bianet. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Court arrests Turkish journalist Ahmet Şık - RIGHTS". Hürriyet Daily News | LEADING NEWS SOURCE FOR TURKEY AND THE REGION. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  7. ^ "Imprisoned Turkish Journalist Denied Water for Three Days | PEN America". pen.org. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  8. ^ "No Drinking Water Given to Journalist Ahmet Şık in Prison for 3 Days". Bianet - Bagimsiz Iletisim Agi. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  9. ^ Stephen Franklin, 2 January 2013, Columbia Journalism Review, Where truth is a hard cell
  10. ^ "Son dakika: Gazeteci Ahmet Şık Meclis'te". haberturk.com. 2018-06-24. Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  11. ^ "Journalists Sarıibrahimoğlu and Şık acquitted from 301 case" Archived 2012-10-16 at the Wayback Machine. Today's Zaman, 3 April 2008; accessed on 11 April 2011.
  12. ^ 24.06.2010 Daily Human Rights Report
  13. ^ Radikal, 13 May 2011, Şık ve Mavioğlu'na beraat!
  14. ^ Hurriyet Daily News, 16 November 2011, Banned book goes on sale in Istanbul book fair
  15. ^ a b "Journalist Ahmet Şık Facing More Charges in Wake of his Release". Bianet. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  16. ^ "Gazeteci Ahmet Şık Başbakan Yıldırım'a Hakaret İddiasıyla Hakim Karşısında". Bianet. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  17. ^ Sep. 27, Kristen McTighe; 2019; Pm, 6:00 (2019-09-27). "Turkish scientist gets 15-month sentence for publishing environmental study". Science | AAAS. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
  18. ^ "UNESCO awards Ahmet Şık annual press freedom prize". Committee to Protect Journalists. April 11, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2014.

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