Emin Çölaşan (born 14 March 1942) is a Turkish investigative journalist, whose daily column appeared in the country's internationally best-known and most influential mass-circulation newspaper, Istanbul-based Hürriyet, for 22 years, from 1985 to 2007, . Due to his outspoken positions on sensitive domestic issues, he is considered one of the most controversial names in Turkey's written press. Since 2007, he continues his column in Sözcü while he is banned from TVs.
A native of Ankara, Emin Çölaşan was born into a Cretan Turkish family whose surname, which literally means "desert strider", is a reference to his grandfather who was exiled by Sultan Abdülhamid II deep into the Fizan desert interior of Libya for 7 years because of JeuneTurc movement. His maternal grandfather, Refik Şevket İnce, born in Polichnitos near Mytilene (modern-day Greek island of Lesbos), served with the country's leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and, subsequently, in ministerial posts during the 1920s and into the 1950s, and his father served in the State Meteorological Service where he was a general director for 14 years, one of the longest. Çölaşan and his wife Tansel (born 1943), who held the position of chief advocate for the Turkish Council of State (Danıştay), is now president of Atatürk Thought Association. He has no children.
Education and career
Çölaşan finished his secondary studies in TED Ankara College and graduated from the Middle East Technical University with a degree in management studies. For a decade, he worked in various public institutions and started his journalism career in 1977 at the Istanbul daily Milliyet, shifting in 1985 as a regular columnist for Hürriyet, an influential position which he has maintained for nearly a quarter of a century. He is also the author of numerous books which focus primarily on malpractices within governmental and public circles in Turkey, as well as an instigator and/or party in frequent polemics centering on his discoveries of official malfeasance and misconduct.
Çölaşan had been a virulent critic of Turgut Özal, Turkey's Prime Minister from 1983 to 1989, who became the target of his 1980s bestseller books Turgut'un Serüveni [Turgut's Adventure] and Turgut Nereden Koşuyor? [Where is Turgut Running From?]. In the late 2000s, he focused his in-print attacks upon rival columnists and Justice and Development Party (AKP) mayor of Ankara İ. Melih Gökçek. Çölaşan made a point of pronouncing the mayor's name in full, in reference to a Turkish four-letter word; a practice for which he was fined 40,000 lira. The two finally appeared on a televised debate, which received a warning from the state censorship board for indecency. Çölaşan also criticized the incumbent AKP government, which is known to be the reason behind his 13 August 2007 firing from Hürriyet after 22 years of service. A strong and passionate nationalist, Çölaşan has criticized the government's plans regarding the Kurdish problem. His support for the suspected military commanders, and urges of a military action against the government has been controversial. Emin Çölaşan is a secularist, has accused the government for reactionary actions and Islamism.
His books published:
- 24 Ocak Bir Dönemin Perde Arkası, 1983 - Dizi
- 12 Eylül Özal Ekonomisinin Perde Arkası, 1984 - Dizi
- Yalçın'ı Kim Kurtaracak?, 1985
- Yalçın Nereye Koşuyor, 1985
- Banker Skandalı'nın Perde Arkası, 1985
- İcraatın İçinden, 1986 - Röportaj
- Önce İnsanım Sonra Gazeteci, 1987
- Biz Kırk Kişiyiz Birbirimizi Biliriz, 1987 - Röportaj
- Turgut Nereden Koşuyor?, Tekin Yayınevi, İstanbul, 1989
- Bir Dönemin Yazıları 1988-1989, Tekin Yayınevi, 1990, ISBN 975-478-054-4
- Turgut'un Serüveni, Tekin Yayınevi, İstanbul, 1993, ISBN 975-478-077-3
- Sor Bakalım!, Tekin Yayınevi, İstanbul, 1993, ISBN 975-478-000-5 - Röportaj
- Muhteşem İkili, Ümit Yayıncılık, Ankara, 1998, ISBN 975-7115-46-0
- Ah Refah Vah Refah, Ümit Yayıncılık, Ankara, 1998, ISBN 975-7115-42-8
- Tarihe Düşülen Notlar, Ümit Yayıncılık, Ankara, 2000, ISBN 975-7115-92-4
- Unutulmayan Söyleşiler Tarihe Düşülen Notlar, 2006
- Şu Benim Gazetecilik "Yaşadıklarım", Doğan Kitap, 2005, ISBN 975-293-284-3
- Kovulduk Ey Halkım Unutma Bizi, Bilgi Yayınevi, 2007 ISBN 978-975-22-0237-5
- Her Kuşun Eti Yenmez,Bilgi Yayınevi 2008 ISBN 975-22-0270-5
- Sakıncalı Gazeteci, Bilgi Yayınevi 2009 ISBN 978-975-22-0299-3
- Hürtaş, Sibel (4 October 2007). "Çölaşan'a kötü haber". Gazeteport (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2009-05-22. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
- "Ankara'nın Gündemi" (video). TGRT (in Turkish). 29 March 2007.
- "RTÜK Çölaşan-Gökçek tartışmasından dolayı TGRT'yi uyardı". Cihan (in Turkish). Yeni Şafak. 4 April 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
- EÖ/EÜ/AG (17 August 2007). "Hürriyet Journalist Cölasan Dismissed". Bianet. Archived from the original on 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2008-08-03.
- Cagaptay, Soner (8 July 2008). "Turkey Versus Turkey". Wall Street Journal. Europe. Retrieved 2008-08-03.