Turkish authorities raid newspaper, arrest journalists

Since the rise of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, human rights activists have criticized the government for its treatment of dissent in the press.

By
December 14, 2014 07:33
1 minute read.
Journalists at Today's Zaman following the Turkish police raid

Journalists at Today's Zaman following the Turkish police raid. (photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)

 
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Turkish journalists used Twitter and a live YouTube feed to try and stave off the arrest by the country’s anti-terror policy of editor-in-chief Ekrem Dumanli of the English language daily newspaper Today’s Zaman.

Just one day earlier the newspaper had published an article warning that the Turkish government planned to raid newspapers across the country to arrests journalists in retaliation for last year’s publication of articles about a corruption scandal that implicated officials and  pro-government businessmen.

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Newspaper supporters gathered outside the Zaman offices in Istanbul on Saturday night to protest the pending raid, according to the twitter feed of Mahir Zeynalov a reporter for the newspaper. Protestors also entered the Zaman building with signs, "free media cannot be silenced.”

As dawn broke Turkish reporters Zeynalov, Sevgi Akarcesme and Abdullah Bozkurt began tweeting in English about police raids and arrests.



“Turkish police have detained journalists Engin Koç and Salih Asan from S TV, as large-scale operation against journalists kicks off,” Zeynalov tweeted before police entered the Zaman newsroom.

In anticipation of the police’s arrival, the Zaman staff set up a live feed of their newsroom on YouTube. They tweeted the link when police entered the building.

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According to the twitter feed SocialPort out of Turkey, police couldn’t provide the required documents for Dumanli’s arrest. The papers journalists tweeted that the police left the newsroom but that they expect them to return. But journalists expect the police to return.

Akarcesme said, “Prosecutors accuse Zaman of forming an illegal organization and forging documents based on 'reasonable suspicion' without concrete evidence.”

The incident is ongoing, with Dumanli now addressing his staff.

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