Soner Yalçın

Hüseyin Soner Yalçın
Born (1966-01-01) January 1, 1966
Çorum, Turkey
Occupation Journalist, Writer
Nationality Turkish
Citizenship Turkey
Alma mater Hacettepe University

Soner Yalçın (born January 1, 1966) is a Turkish journalist and writer. The co-founder of the news website odatv, he was arrested in February 2011 along with other odatv journalists and charged with links to the Ergenekon organization. He was released pending trial in December 2012.

Journalistic career

Soner Yalçın is an investigative journalist specialized in reporting about the deep state in Turkey. He began working in 1987 for the center left-wing periodical called 2000'e Doğru (Towards 2000) as a permanent political correspondent in Ankara. In 1990, he was appointed as the chief of intelligence reporting of the newspaper. From 1993 to 1994, he worked as news director for the daily Aydınlık (Enlightenment), which is today the official newspaper of the İşçi Partisi but not at the time of Yalçın's involvement. After the split of the Aydınlık group,[1] the forced ban during the 1980 Turkish coup d'état, Aydınlık has been relaunched as a left-wing daily in 1990 not only supported by the İşçi Partisi but also by intellectuals and writers not affiliated to this party. Like others, Soner Yalçın was working for Aydınlık considered at that time as a broader project and he was not a member of this party. He definitely left this newspaper in 1995. Aydınlık became now the official newspaper of the İşçi Partisi.

After that episode, Soner Yalçın briefly worked for the newspaper Siyah – Beyaz (Black - White) published by Doğan Yurdakul before starting a new career in television in 1996 for Show TV. He began as a television investigative reporter based in Ankara. The same year, he was hired by Star TV where he worked as the general news manager. Later CNN Türk asked Soner Yalçın and Cüneyt Özdemir to prepare a new television program called 5N1K. With journalist Barış Pehlivan, Soner Yalçın produced a number of political documentaries called Oradaydim ("I was there") broadcast by CNN Türk. Since February 4, 2007, he was working a columnist for the Sunday editions of the daily Hürriyet. End 2007, he launched his own online news website called OdaTV.[2]

Experienced writer

Beside his journalistic activities, Soner Yalçın is also a prominent and popular writer. He wrote several critical essays and investigation about the controversial role of Turkish governmental intelligence organization, the existence of a Turkish branch of Operation Gladio, the Counter-Guerrilla, the relations between the Turkish mafia and state officials, the tactics and the networks of global Islamist movements (especially the US network of the Gülen movement) and some historical analysis about the Turkish-Ottoman identity. The usual style of this writer is to explain the reader that reality is not usually as it appears, the truth is sometimes hidden and a conscientious reader should look for it.

Written in prison, his last publication Samizdat (2012) speaks about the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression in Turkey. It gets back to the context of his 29 first days in prison and ends with his 395th day. It gives extensive details about his own bill of indictment, explains the situation for other Ergenekon detainees and criticize the role of mainstream media.

OdaTV case

Yalçın co-founded the news website odatv in 2007. He was arrested in February 2011 along with other odatv journalists and charged with links to the Ergenekon organization.[3] He was released pending trial in December 2012.[4]

According to the prosecution, Soner Yalçın is a leading member of this clandestine terrorist organization which was allegedly preparing a Turkish secularist military coup against the current Turkish government. According to the arrested journalist, a pro-Gülen movement clandestine network within the Turkish police hacked his computer and falsified the documents in order to put in jail him and his colleagues working for OdaTV.[2]


Yalçın is widely criticized by center-right and conservative citizens on his anti-traditional views.


in Turkish

See also


  1. Proleter Devrimci Aydınlık, Wikipedia in Turkish, retrieved on October 21, 2012
  2. 1 2 Soner Yalçın (2012), Samizdat Hakikatlere Dayanacak Gücünüz Var mi. Kirmizi Kedi Yayinlari, Istanbul 2012, ISBN 978-605534033-9.
  3. Turkish journalist arrested over alleged conspiracy to topple government, Monday 14 February 2011
  4. CPJ, 28 December 2012, In Turkey, Odatv publisher conditionally released
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