Warrants issued for 4 people at critical newspaper in Turkey

19 Mai, 2017, 23:30 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • A man looks at newspapers at a kiosk in Diyarbakir Turkey

ISTANBUL (AP) - Two people were detained and detention warrants issued Friday for two senior staff at an opposition newspaper, Turkey's state-run news agency said, drawing criticism from the country's pro-secular opposition.

The newspaper's owner Burak Akbay could not be arrested as he is now overseas, the source said, adding the suspects are accused of committing crimes on behalf of the group even though they are not members of the movement.

Publisher Burak Akbay, reporter Gokmen Ulu as well as executives Melda Olgun and Yonca Kaleli are accused of making propaganda on behalf of the Gulen movement, which the government pinned the blame on for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

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.

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Sozcu's lawyer Ismail Yilmaz denied arrest warrants had been issued, saying warrants had been issued to seize and search their belongings.

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Yilmaz confirmed Olgun was in custody but said that could be in connection with another investigation, Dogan reported.

Owner Akbay later said he was "being targeted because I produce right and honest journalism" in a statement on the daily's website.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party said the "operation" against Sozcu was "unacceptable" and called on the judiciary to act.

According to the P24 press freedom website, there are 165 journalists behind bars in Turkey, most of whom were detained as part of the emergency imposed after the coup bid. He said the newspaper opposed the cleric.

Leading columnists at the paper protested the investigation. "This is what happens to the opposition in Turkey, this is what will happen to opposition newspapers but we won't give up and we won't be silent", said Emin Colasan, a senior journalist.

Several media outlets have been closed in the past year by decrees issues under the ongoing state of emergency.

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