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Iran Press TV

Detention warrants issued for 35 media employees: State Media

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:5AM

Turkish authorities have issued detention warrants for 35 journalists and media workers on suspicion of links to the movement of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having masterminded a failed military coup last year.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said police on Thursday conducted raids in the city of Istanbul to detain the suspects, who allegedly used ByLock, an encrypted messaging application for communication.

Among the detainees was Burak Ekici, a journalist working for the Turkish opposition Birgun newspaper.

Anadolu said the detention warrants had been aimed at what the Turkish government calls the media branch of the US-based cleric's network and that the suspects had been accused of "membership of an armed terrorist organization."

Turkey witnessed a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, when a faction of the Turkish military declared that the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was no more in charge of the country.

However, over the course of some two days, the putsch was suppressed. Almost 250 people were killed and nearly 2,200 others wounded in the abortive coup.

A group of rogue soldiers had also reportedly planned to assassinate Erdogan.

Gulen has denied the charges of having masterminded the coup.

In a post-coup crackdown, Turkish authorities have shut some 150 media outlets and jailed around 160 journalists.

About a dozen journalists from the opposition daily Cumhuriyet are currently in prison on suspicion of supporting Gulen, facing jail terms of up to 43 years if convicted.

In addition to the crackdown on the media, Turkey has also suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, policemen, teachers, and civil servants and has arrested nearly 50,000 others.

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