Er­do­gan goes af­ter jour­nal­ists

The Myanmar Times - - World -

TURK­ISH au­thor­i­ties is­sued ar­rest war­rants for more than 40 jour­nal­ists in a new phase of the con­tro­ver­sial le­gal crack­down af­ter the failed coup against Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan, spark­ing fresh alarm over the scope of the de­ten­tions.

With Mr Er­do­gan seek­ing to rally na­tional cross-party sup­port for his rule 10 days af­ter de­feat­ing the at­tempted putsch, he hosted two top op­po­si­tion lead­ers for an un­prece­dented meet­ing at his pres­i­den­tial palace on July 25, re­sult­ing in signs of agree­ment to work to­gether on a new con­sti­tu­tion.

More than 13,000 peo­ple have been de­tained so far in a vast sweep in the wake of the July 15 mil­i­tary coup bid, which the au­thor­i­ties blame on the reclu­sive United States-based Is­lamic cleric Fethul­lah Gulen.

The crack­down has raised ten­sions with the Euro­pean Union, fur­ther ham­per­ing Ankara’s stalled mem­ber­ship bid, while a po­ten­tial diplo­matic cri­sis with Wash­ing­ton is loom­ing if the United States re­fuses to ex­tra­dite Mr Gulen to Turkey, a fel­low NATO mem­ber.

Anti-ter­ror prosecutors is­sued ar­rest war­rants for 42 jour­nal­ists as part of the coup in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Among those ar­rested was prom­i­nent jour­nal­ist Na­zli Ili­cak, who was fired from the pro-govern­ment Sabah daily in 2013 for crit­i­cis­ing min­is­ters caught up in a cor­rup­tion scan­dal.

She was de­tained yes­ter­day and sched­uled to ap­pear in court later.

Five peo­ple have been de­tained so far al­though 11 of the sus­pects are be­lieved to al­ready be out­side the coun­try, the Do­gan news agency re­ported.

Other prom­i­nent jour­nal­ists hit with war­rants in­clude the com­men­ta­tor Bu­lent Mu­may and the news ed­i­tor of Fox TV in Turkey, Er­can Gun. –

Photo: AFP

Sup­port­ers of Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­doga wave Turk­ish flags as they gather dur­ing a rally against the mil­i­tary coup at Kizilay Square in Ankara.

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