İstanbulAydınlıknewspapereditor-in-chiefultranationalist-leftistNovember 8 2009Yıldırım was the chief editor of the ultranationalist-leftist Aydınlık (Enlightment), then a monthly, when detained by the police at his house in Istanbul as part of the government’s investigation into the alleged Ergenekon plot, a shadowy conspiracy that authorities believe was aimed at overthrowing the government through a military coup. He was being held at Silivri F Type Prison in Istanbul on charges of being a member of a terrorist organization, violating privacy rights, and disclosing state secrets. According to the indictment, Yıldırım received a recording from Ergenekon conspirators and published its contents. The recording purported to include a 2004 phone conversation between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in which the two discussed the sensitive issue of Cyprus’ political status. It also purportedly included a conversation between Erdoğan and businessman Remzi Gür. As evidence, authorities cited Yıldırım’s published work and other recordings allegedly found during a police raid of Aydınlık offices. Yıldırım, who faced up to 57 years in prison, said he had no ties to Ergenekon. Mehmet Aytenkin, a lawyer for Yıldırım, told CPJ that his client was arrested because his news outlet was critical of the government.