International press watchdogs on Thursday condemned Egypt over the arrest of Anadolu Agency employees in a raid on the journalists' office in Cairo.
"By arresting 4 members of Anadolu Agency, Egypt is using them as hostages and as weapons in a diplomatic dispute. This is unacceptable," said Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Twitter.
"Governments must not bring false accusations against journalists in order to restrict pluralism and criticism," it added.
The Turkish Cypriot Foreign Press Association also condemned Egypt and said the raid and arrests were attacks on basic human rights.
"This is a suppression of democracy and violation of the press freedom," it said in a written statement.
Egyptian police raided the Cairo office of Anadolu Agency on Tuesday and the whereabouts of the detainees, which include one Turkish citizen, remain unknown.
Ankara condemned the raid and called for the immediate release of the four employees.
Turkey’s political relations with Egypt have remained rocky since 2013, when Mohamed Morsi -- Egypt's first freely elected president and a Muslim Brotherhood leader -- was ousted in a bloody military coup.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.