Turkish police arrested two journalists on Monday for questioning as part of an investigation into an alleged “political and military spy,” said state agency Anadolu.
The two journalists – Ismail Dukel, Ankara’s representative for TELE1, and Muyesser Yildiz of the OdaTV news site – were questioned by counterterrorism police, the agency reported.
OdaTV said that Yildiz, who reported on military problems, was arrested after raiding his home. Police searched her home and confiscated electronic equipment, the website reported.
Authorities last month charged seven journalists – including two editors of OdaTV and one journalist – with breaking the laws governing the intelligence agency for reporting on the death of an intelligence officer allegedly been killed in Libya. Journalists will be on trial later this month.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists ranks Turkey among the best jailers of journalists in the world, alongside China and Saudi Arabia.
According to the Turkish Journalists’ Union, no less than 85 journalists and other media professionals are currently in prison under extensive Turkish counterterrorism laws, many of which were arrested during a crackdown following a coup attempt State in 2016.
Turkey maintains that journalists are prosecuted for crimes and not for their journalistic work.
Prosecutors have also issued arrest warrants for 149 people – mostly former police – for alleged links to a network led by an American Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen.
Anadolu News Agency said 74 people, including six former police chiefs, were wanted by prosecutors in western Balikesir province, 42 by authorities in northwestern Bursa province, while 33 suspects were being held in Gaziantep, near the border with Syria.
Turkey accuses Gülen’s network of the failure of the 2016 coup. About 77,000 people have been arrested and around 130,000 others, including soldiers, have been dismissed from the state as part of the crackdown on course of the Gülen network.
Gulen, who has been in voluntary exile in the United States since 1999, denies any involvement in the coup attempt, which killed around 250 people and injured around 2,000 others.
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