World

2 journalists from opposition newspaper detained in Turkey

2 journalists from opposition newspaper detained in Turkey

The two others sought for arrest are correspondent Gokmen Ulu and financial executive Yonca Kaleli, according to the CNN Turk broadcaster, which keeps close ties with the government.

Turkish authorities have issued arrest warrants for the owner and three employees of an opposition newspaper, a police source and the paper said on Friday, part of a crackdown on media that has alarmed rights groups and Turkey's Western allies. The private Dogan news agency said warrants were also issued for the newspaper's head of finance and a reporter.

Istanbul prosecutor Irfan Fidan confirmed the operation into "Sozcu's executives", saying "there are warrants, there are detentions" without giving details.

Ankara accuses the group and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen of orchestrating the July 2016 failed coup attempt in Turkey, which left 249 people killed and almost 2,200 injured.

Anadolu said the prosecutors are also investigating the four for "armed rebellion against the Turkish government" and "assassinating and assaulting the president", in reference to an article by Ulu on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's location hours before the coup attempt.

Akbay said he was being "targeted for correct and honest journalism".




Turkey refers to the movement as the "Fethullah Terrorist Organisation" (FETO), but Gulen vehemently denies ordering the coup and the movement denies any terror charges. Its leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, said the inquiry was "unacceptable", while senior CHP lawmaker Ozgur Ozel said it aimed to silence all dissent. "If Sozcu is FETO, everyone in Turkey is FETO!"

Leading columnists at the paper protested the investigation.

The clampdown on Sozcu meanwhile coincided with May 19 celebrations across Turkey - a day, which traditionally commemorates and honors the onset of Turkey's liberation struggle under state founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's leadership in 1919.

The known evidence that the newspaper, which publishes reports with a secularist/anti-Islamist bent, supports the Islamic cleric Gulen appears thin.

The daily issued a statement of defiance on its website: "Let no one have any doubt, Sozcu will not be silent".

Turkish government has already jailed more than 230 journalists and closed down over 150 media outlets in the aftermath of the coup attempt.


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