17 Turkish journalists charged with terror group membership

The veteran journalist Nazlı Ilıcak, 72, is among those detained. Photograph: Ihlas News Agency/AFP/Getty Images
The veteran journalist Nazlı Ilıcak, 72, is among those detained. Photograph: Ihlas News Agency/AFP/Getty Images

{THE GUARDIAN} – A court in Istanbul has remanded 17 Turkish journalists in custody as international concern mounts over the government’s targeting of reporters.

Twenty-one journalists appeared before a judge in hearings that lasted until midnight on Friday. Four were freed but 17 have been charged with membership of a terror group, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Arrest warrants were issued this week for 89 journalists, at least 40 of whom have now been detained. The Turkish government has used a state of emergency law to order the closure of at least 131 newspapers, television and radio stations, publishers and news agencies.

Some of those arrested used to work for the Zaman newspaper, which had close links with the Hizmet movement of the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen.

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Gülen of helping to organise the coup. Zaman was taken over by government-appointed trustees in March and is now strongly pro-Erdoğan.

Mahir Zeynalov, a Washington-based correspondent for Today’s Zaman, the English language version of the newspaper, has tweeted a series of images of Turkish journalists being arrested on Friday. READ MORE OF THIS REPORE

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About Cholo Brooks 15350 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.