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Turkey detains opposition Cumhuriyet journalists

Photo: AFP

 

Turkish police have detained the editor and several writers of opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet amid a crackdown on media after the failed July coup, the BBC reports.

The journalists are suspected of links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused of plotting the coup, as well as Kurdish militants.

Cumhuriyet is Turkey’s oldest secular paper.

At the weekend, 15 other media outlets were closed and 10,000 civil servants were dismissed.

Those targeted include academics, teachers, health workers, prison guards and forensics experts.

Critics have accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of using an emergency law imposed after the coup attempt to silence opponents. Since then, a total of about 110,000 people have been sacked or suspended and 37,000 arrested.

The government argues that Mr Gulen’s network of followers is so vast that a wholesale purge is needed.

Cumhuriyet editor Murat Sabuncu and eight other newspaper staff were detained on Monday, including columnists Aydin Engin and Guray Oz, state news agency Anadolu reported,

Arrest warrants were also issued for other staff, including Cumhuriyet’s previous editor Can Dundar, who resigned in August after being sentenced to five years in prison for revealing state secrets involving Turkey’s operations in Syria. He fled Turkey when he was freed pending an appeal.

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