Turkey detains opposition newspaper editor

Ankara, Nov 1 (IANS) Police arrested Turkish opposition daily, Cumhuriyet’s editor-in-chief, Murat Sabuncu along with 11 others amid a crackdown on media after the failed July coup, authorities said.

Writers associated with the daily Aydin Engin, Guray Oz, Hikmet Cetinkaya, Hakan Kara and Mustafa Kemal Gungor as well as lawyer Bulent Utku were among those held on Monday, state-run Anadolu News Agency reported.

Cartoonist Musa Kart, Cumhuriyet Foundation’s managing board members Mustafa Kemal Gungor, Onder Celik and Bulent Yener, and the daily’s books supplement editor Turhan Gunay were also arrested.

Everyone was arrested in Istanbul except for Oz, who was held in Ankara.

According to a judicial source, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s office had issued arrest warrants for 13 Cumhuriyet journalists and executives, including the daily’s Executive Board Chairman Akin Atalay.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to media, said the suspects were charged with “being members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and for committing crimes on behalf of these organisations.”

Atalay and Oz’s residences were also searched.

An arrest warrant was also out for Can Dundar, the former editor-in-chief of the newspaper, who is currently abroad.

The July 15 defeated coup left 241 people killed and 2,200 injured.

The government accuses FETO leader, Fetullah Gulen, of being the mastermind behind the coup attempt and a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the “parallel state”.

Gulen has been living in the US state of Pennsylvania since 1999.

Turkey is currently under a state of emergency following the defeated coup and had the order extended for three more months from October 19.