November 05, 2015
ANKARA: Turkish authorities on Tuesday arrested two editors of a political weekly on charges of inciting an armed uprising against the government for suggesting on the magazine's front page that the aftermath of Turkey's election would mark the start of a civil war.
Nokta said on its website that editor-in-chief Cevher Guven and news editor Murat Capan were formally arrested, accused of attempts to bring down the government.
They become the latest journalists to be arrested as Turkey's government continues to crack down on media organizations and journalists critical of the government.
The two were detained for questioning on Monday after police acting on a court order confiscated copies of this week's issue.
The two journalists rejected the accusations during their questioning, Hurriyet Daily News reported. It said the two told interrogators that the front page cover was published before Sunday's election — which resulted in a victory for the ruling party — at a time when public opinion surveys indicated that a hung parliament would emerge leading to "chaotic" coalition efforts.
The offending article couldn't be located. Nokta's website was blocked in Turkey.
The weekly publication is critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling party, which he founded.
In September, police similarly seized copies of the magazine whose front page depicted Erdogan taking a selfie in front of coffins of soldiers killed in the conflict with Kurdish rebels. The move came after a court ruled that the front page insulted Erdogan.
Dozens of editors from leading international news organizations have written to Erdogan recently, expressing concern over deteriorating media freedoms in Turkey.
In August, authorities detained three journalists reporting for Vice News in Turkey's restive Kurdish southeast. One of them, Mohammed Rasool, is still in custody. Rasool, an Iraqi citizen, had worked as a news assistant for the AP and other organizations.
Recently, Hurriyet's headquarters was attacked following criticism of the newspaper by Erdogan. After the attacks, Hurriyet columnist Ahmet Hakan was chased and beaten.
Last week, police stormed the Istanbul headquarters of a media group belonging to Koza-Ipek Holding and took television broadcasts off the air after. A prosecutor had ordered the company placed under the management of a trustee during an investigation of its ties to Fetullah Gulen, a U.S.-based moderate Islamic cleric the government accuses of trying to destabilize the state. - AP
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