Turkey

Police detain Cumhuriyet's editor-in-chief in Istanbul

Homes of the Turkish daily's Executive Board Chairman Akin Atalay and author Guray Oz also searched

31.10.2016
Police detain Cumhuriyet's editor-in-chief in Istanbul

Ankara

By Muhammed Enes Can, Hanife Sevinc and Kenan Irtak

ISTANBUL

Police arrested 11 staffers of the Turkish daily, Cumhuriyet, including the editor-in-chief, Murat Sabuncu, in Istanbul and Ankara on Monday, according to police and judicial sources.

Writers associated with the daily Aydin Engin, Guray Oz, Hikmet Cetinkaya, Hakan Kara and Mustafa Kemal Gungor as well as lawyer Bulent Utku were among those held.

Cartoonist Musa Kart, Cumhuriyet Foundation's managing board members Mustafa Kemal Gungor, Onder Celik and Bulent Yener, and the daily's books supplement Editor Turhan Gunay were also arrested.

Everyone was arrested in Istanbul except for Oz, who was held in Ankara.

According to a judicial source, the Istanbul Chief public prosecutor's office had issued arrest warrants for 13 Cumhuriyet journalists and executives, including the daily's Executive Board Chairman Akin Atalay.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to media, said the suspects had been charged with "being members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization [FETO] and the PKK, and for committing crimes on behalf of these organizations."

Homes of Atalay and Oz were also searched.

An arrest warrant was also out for Can Dundar, the former editor-in-chief of the newspaper, who is currently abroad.

The July 15 defeated coup had left 241 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

The government accuses the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) leader, Fetullah Gulen, of being the mastermind behind the coup attempt and a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the “parallel state”.

Gulen has been living in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999.

Turkey is currently under a state of emergency following the defeated coup and had the order extended for three more months from Oct. 19.

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