Authorities order detention of 47 more journalists -govt official

Critics of President Tayyip Erdogan argue he is using the failed July 15-16 coup as a pretext to muzzle dissent and tighten his grip on power.

Turkey orders detention of 47 more journalists -govt official

Turkey ordered another 47 journalists detained on Wednesday, a government official said, part of a widening crackdown on supporters of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of masterminding a failed military coup.

"Today's detentions cover executives and some staff including columnists of (the now defunct) Zaman newspaper, the Gulen movement's flagship media organisation," the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters.

"The prosecutors aren't interested in what individual columnists wrote or said. At this point, the reasoning is that prominent employees of Zaman are likely to have intimate knowledge of the Gulen network and as such could benefit the investigation."

Critics of President Tayyip Erdogan argue he is using the failed July 15-16 coup as a pretext to muzzle dissent and tighten his grip on power. The clampdown has drawn criticism from the European Union, which Turkey aspires to join.

Authorities shut down Zaman in March, part of a crackdown on suspected Gulen supporters. They have sharply accelerated the crackdown since the coup attempt, suspending, detaining or placing under investigation more than 60,000 soldiers, police, teachers, judges, civil servants and others.

Gulen, 75, denies involvement in the abortive coup, in which at least 246 people were killed. An ally-turned-foe of Erdogan, he had built up an extensive network of schools, charities and businesses in Turkey over decades.

Wednesday's list of journalists to be detained includes some known for their leftist activism who do not share the religious world view of the Gulenist movement.

In the latest wave of detentions, police raided the home of Sahin Alpay around 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) and held him after a 2-1/2 hour search of the property in a central Istanbul district, the Dogan news agency reported.

Alpay, who used to have a column in the Zaman newspaper, is a former official in Turkey's left-leaning, secularist main opposition CHP party.

On Monday, media reported that arrest warrants had been issued for 42 other journalists, including well-known commentator and former parliamentarian Nazli Ilicak.

Of them, 16 have so far been taken into custody, Dogan said.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

2023: Osinbajo promises Niger delegates food, accommodation during primary

2023: Osinbajo promises Niger delegates food, accommodation during primary

IPOB asks Kumuyi to cancel planned crusade in South East

IPOB asks Kumuyi to cancel planned crusade in South East

Femi Adesina to become a farmer after working for Buhari

Femi Adesina to become a farmer after working for Buhari

Zamfara APC holds mini delegates conference

Zamfara APC holds mini delegates conference

Kaduna records highest number of online voter registrations in northern Nigeria

Kaduna records highest number of online voter registrations in northern Nigeria

Soludo presents N170bn revised draft budget to Anambra Assembly

Soludo presents N170bn revised draft budget to Anambra Assembly

Ukraine to seek damages from Russia over environmental destruction

Ukraine to seek damages from Russia over environmental destruction

2023:  Mark calls for  peaceful PDP primaries

2023: Mark calls for peaceful PDP primaries

Troops kill spiritual head of  terrorists, capture 20, rescue 63 victims in N/East

Troops kill spiritual head of terrorists, capture 20, rescue 63 victims in N/East