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Arrests of Journalists in Turkey Not Related to Profession - Foreign Minister

Sputnik News

05:00 15.08.2016

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that journalists in Turkey are arrested because of their links with the movement of opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Journalists in Turkey are arrested because of their links with the movement of opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of playing a key role in the recent coup attempt, and not because of their profession, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday.

On July 15, a coup attempt took place in Turkey, which was suppressed the following day. Following the coup attempt, the Turkish authorities issued a warrant for the arrest of more than 100 journalists, starting a media purge in the country. On August 10, Turkish prosecutors ordered the arrest of another 47 journalists. Germany and other EU countries have repeatedly accused Turkey of violating the freedom of the press.

"Should you be untouchable, because you are a journalist? Some journalists have followed the instructions of the Gulen's terrorist organization, they have ruined lives of many people and have supported the coup. If a journalist is a member of a terrorist organization, what does that have to do with freedom of the press? There are many journalists and media that criticize the government every day. They are able to report freely. But when it comes to the coup, they have made a clear stance. But the media coverage in Germany… is controlled in a way that has nothing to do with the reality in Turkey," Cavusoglu told the German Bild newspaper.

Numerous news websites in Turkey have been shut down at the request of the Turkish prime minister's office, on the pretext of endangering national security and public order. The Turkish government reportedly has revoked the licenses of 25 media outlets.


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