AKP President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded the extradition of exiled journalist Bülent Keneş during the meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said, “The Swedish Courts will make the decision,” while Erdogan’s statements were considered as an election investment. On the other hand, these statements gathered reactions on social media, especially among free journalists.
AKP President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the statements at a joint press conference after a meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. Erdogan also spoke about the upcoming elections, naming exiled journalist Bülent Keneş and asking for his extradition to Turkey.
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, on the other hand, said that the Swedish courts will make the decision on the names that Turkey wants to be ‘deported’ as part of the fight against terrorism. Asked about the issue after meeting with AKP President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kristersson said: “Regarding terrorism, we have discussed everything in the tripartite memorandum. We take this very seriously. The attitude in Sweden is that we need to fight terrorism. Of course, all decisions will be taken in accordance with Swedish law, taking into account international conventions.”
JOURNALIST KENEŞ SPOKE TO THE SWEDISH NEWSPAPER: WE WERE AT THE DINNER TABLE
Speaking to Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter newspaper, Bülent Keneş said he was at the dinner table with his family when he heard Erdogan’s words. Keneş expressed, “I tried not to show my family how surprised I was.”
‘I’M NOT WORRIED, I TRUST SWEDISH LAW’
Keneş, who noted that his wife was also very surprised that his name was mentioned at the press conference, said: “Everything is expected from such a despot, a despot who does not care about freedom of expression, human rights, and does not care about the rights and duties of journalists. So, in general, I was not surprised, but in this particular case I did not expect to hear my name.“ he concluded by saying: “I am not worried at all because I have always believed and still believe in Sweden’s rule of law. This issue means everything in this country, and so does respect for human rights and freedom. That’s why I trust that Swedish law will protect me.”
WHO IS BÜLENT KENEŞ?
Erdoğan targeted him by saying, “It is important for us that the terrorist named Bülent Keneş is deported to Turkey. We want Sweden to be more sensitive.” But who is he?
Born in Malatya in 1969, Bülent Keneş completed his primary, secondary and high school education in this city.
Keneş graduated from the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences of Boğaziçi University and started his professional life at Zaman newspaper in 1994. After working in various units of the newspaper, he worked as the Foreign News Director in October 1995 and as the News Director in 1999.
Keneş completed his master’s degree at Marmara University Institute of the Middle East and Islamic Countries, Department of Political History and International Relations, with his thesis entitled “An Examination of How the Western Media Creates an Image of Islam in the Context of the Conflict of Civilizations Discussions”, which he handed in September 1996. The work in question was published as a book in 1998 under the title ”The Image of Islam in the Western Press”.
ACADEMICIAN AND JOURNALIST
Continuing his academic studies as well as journalism, Bülent Keneş had to leave his doctorate studies, which he started at Marmara University, Middle East and Islamic Countries Institute, Department of Political History and International Relations, in 1998 due to the negative effects of the post-modern military coup on 28 February on his business and academic life.
Keneş continued his journalistic activities with the positions of Publication Coordinator of the Turkish Daily News, Bureau Chief of Anadolu Agency in New York, Editor-in-Chief of the Newspaper Bugün, Founding Editor-in-Chief of the English newspaper Today’s Zaman.
On the other hand, Keneş, who continues to participate in various associations and foundations, and to make radio and television programs, completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Fatih University between 2008-2009. Journalist Keneş, who returned to his doctoral studies by taking advantage of the amnesty granted by YÖK in 2009, completed his doctoral dissertation entitled “Continuity and Change in Iranian Foreign Policy (1979 – 2011)” in September 2011. Keneş’s work has also been published as a book.
A FACULTY MEMBER
Bülent Keneş, who has been giving lectures in the fields of international relations, political science and communication at Fatih University since 2010, has a good command of English and an intermediate level of Persian.
Keneş, who is married and has two children, was detained by the Anti-Terrorism Branch Directorate teams at the Zaman Newspaper building in Yenibosna on October 10, 2015, following a complaint by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s lawyers for defamation through tweets. After the procedures in the police and prosecutor’s office, the court was referred with a request for arrest. The court decided to arrest Keneş.
Bülent Keneş, the Editor-in-Chief of Today’s Zaman Newspaper, who was arrested on October 10, 2015 for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his Twitter messages and put in Silivri Prison, was released 4 days later after an appeal by his lawyers.
On December 4, 2015, he resigned from his position as Editor-in-Chief of Today’s Zaman.
Investigations were also opened against Bülent Keneş, the Founding Editor-in-Chief of Today’s Zaman, which was closed by a Decree Law (KHK) issued during the State of Emergency declared after July 15. Kenes, who also had arrest warrants issued against him, was also the target of pro-government media in Sweden, where he lived in exile.
BOOKS BY BÜLENT KENEŞ
2013 – Insider of Iranian Politics
2012 – Iran and Terrorism From Hasan Sabbah to Today 2012 – Iran: Threat or
Opportunity1998 – Image of Islam in Western Media