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Bekir Coşkun

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Bekir Coşkun

Bekir Coşkun (born 1945 Tülmen, Şanlıurfa, Turkey) is a Turkish journalist, writer and columnist for leading Turkish daily, Cumhuriyet. He is a good friend of Emin Çölaşan, with whom he had worked in the newspaper Hürriyet before they were controversially sacked by the paper's editor-in-chief, Ertuğrul Özkök. As staunch secularists, both are critical of the Justice and Development Party.

Personal life

Bekir Coşkun was born in the Turkmen village of Tülmen in Şanlıurfa in the southeastern Anatolia region of the country.[1] He graduated from Ankara's Yüksek Gazetecilik Okulu in 1974.[1]


Coşkun joined the Günaydın newspaper in 1978. He joined Sabah in 1987 and moved to Hurriyet in 1993.[1]

In an article written some weeks before the July 2007 General Elections, he described AK Party supporters as "men who scratch their belly" (Turkish: göbeğini kaşıyan adamlar).[2] After Abdullah Gül's victory in the presidential elections of 2007, Coşkun stated, "he will not be my President", upon which the Prime Minister Erdoğan retorted by saying "he should abdicate his citizenship and leave the country if he doesn't consider [Gul] as his President". This led to an outcry among supporters of secularism in the country that people who didn't share AK Party's ideology would no longer be welcome in the country.[3]

In 2007, after Emin Çölaşan left Hürriyet, for a while he considered leaving as well. In the mean time, rival newspaper and staunchly secularist Cumhuriyet offered him to become one of their columnists. The absence of Coşkun's columns for a period of two weeks in August 2007 was attributed by some to an imminent switch. During this time, Aydın Doğan, the owner of the most powerful media conglomerate in Turkey (Doğan Media Group, which owns Hürriyet) convinced Cumhuriyet representatives to retract their offer.[4]

He resigned from Hurriyet in 2009, moving to Haberturk shortly after,[1] an episode he described in his book Başın Öne Eğilmesin ("Don’t bow your head").[5] He left Haberturk a year later in controversial circumstances, moving to Cumhuriyet in November 2010.[1] The opposition CHP party claimed that Çoşkun had been dismissed from Haberturk as a favour to the AKP, in order to benefit Haberturk's parent company, Ciner Group, which was bidding on privatization deals.[6]

In 2012 Çoşkun wrote a column for Cumhuriyet presenting "an imaginary dialogue between a wolf and a tamed dog called “Pasha” – a popular dog name and the Ottoman-era word for general. The chubby Pasha boasts about his comfortable life in the hut, but says that one must accept to wear a leash and obey their owner in return for the bones and cushions."[7] The column was condemned by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who urged the army to sue; the Army General Staff filed a complaint, leading to prosecutors investigating.[7][8]


See also


External links

  • Hürriyet (Turkish)
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