August 18, 2017
ISTANBUL - An Istanbul court has placed under arrest nine journalists on suspicion of links to the alleged mastermind of the failed 2016 coup, the latest in a series of measures against Turkish media workers that have alarmed the West.
Turkish authorities had on August 10 issued arrest warrants for 35 media employees accused of using the Bylock messaging app allegedly used by US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen to mobilize followers in Turkey and of belonging to a “terror” group.
A total of 11 were detained at the time and late on Wednesday an Istanbul court placed nine under arrest ahead of trial and released two under judicial supervision, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.
Among the nine remanded in custody is the website editor at the leftist opposition Birgun daily Burak Ekici and the former news editor of the TV channel of Turkish football side Fenerbahce, Yasir Kaya.
Those released include a prominent former columnist for the Turkiye daily, Ahmet Sagirli. Anadolu said searches are continuing for the remaining 24 suspects, who are likely to have fled abroad.
The latest arrests come amid growing alarm over press freedom in Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in particular under the state of emergency imposed in the wake of the failed July 2016 coup and which remains in place. - AFP
Daily Times, October 30, 2016
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