Turkish police detains editor of Cumhuriyet newspaper after raiding his home

October 31, 2016 2:30 pm

Journalists and lawmakers gather outside Istanbul headquarters of Cumhuriyet newspaper on October 31, 2016 to protest the staff arrest. (Photo by AP)

Turkish police arrest the editor-in-chief of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, along with several other staff of the daily after raiding their homes.
Editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu and columnists Guray Oz and Aydin Engin were taken into custody, Cumhuriyet said on its website on Monday.
They are under investigation for alleged links to US-based opposition cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for a recent failed coup against the Ankara government, the Istanbul prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
The executives were accused of committing crimes on behalf of or in the name of Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation (FETO) and Kurdish militants, according to the statement.
It said there are “claims” and “proof” that shortly before the July 15 coup attempt, the suspects had published content that attempted to legitimize the failed coup.
Police continue to search homes of other senior staff of the paper, including its cartoonist Musa Kartm, as 13 arrest warrants were issued for its staff.

Cumhuriyet newespaper’s editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu (File photo)

The crackdown on Cumhuriyet came after Ankara ordered the closure of several opposition media outlets, including the Dicle Haber Ajansi agency and the Ozgur Gundem newspaper.
has been under a state of emergency since the failed coup, when an army faction, using helicopters and tanks, clashed with government troops and people on the streets of Ankara and Istanbul in an attempt to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Since then, Ankara has been carrying out a crackdown on those believed to have played a role in the abortive putsch. Tens of thousands of civil servants have so far been suspended, fired or detained.
Several thousand companies and institutions were also closed by the government on suspicion of providing financial support to Gulen’s movement.
Turkey is under fire by opposition parties and human rights groups who say Ankara uses the state of emergency to clamp down on all dissenting voices.
Diyarbakir mayors arrested

Diyarbakir co-mayors Gültan Kışanak (L) and Fırat Anlı pictured during an event in Diyarbakir. (File photo)

In another development, police also arrested the two mayors of Diyarbakir, the largest city in the predominantly Kurdish southeast of the country, on Sunday, five days after a court ordered their detention over “terrorist” activities linked to the militan Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Gultan Kisanak and Firat Anli, who jointly elected in 2014, were accused of “belonging to an armed terrorist organization” and providing “logistical support to an armed terrorist organization,” according to a statement by the court in Diyarbakir.
Several hundred people took to the streets in Diyarbakir and in Istanbul on Sunday to demand their release. Police used tear gas and to disperse the protesters, AFP reported.
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