Monday, October 31st, 2016 at 7:40am

Turkey detains Cumhuriyet editor in chief Murat Sabuncu

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Turkish police have detained the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet, an opposition newspaper, according to media reports.

The reports say that along with Murat Sabuncu, Guray Oz, a Cumhuriyet columnist, was also detained on Monday morning.

Their residences were being searched, the reports said.

Prosecutors have issued detention warrants for a total of 13 executives and writers at the newspaper, including the publication’s chairman, media reports said.

Detentions come as authorities crack down on anyone suspected of links to Fethullah Gulen, the US-based religious leader accused by the Turkish government of orchestrating a failed coup in July.

The pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper said on its website the detainees were being investigated over alleged links to Gulen and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Scores of opposition media organisations have been shut down since the government acquired state of emergency powers following the failed coup.

More than 100,000 people had already been sacked or suspended and 37,000 arrested since the the coup attempt.

Over the weekend, Turkey dismissed a further 10,000 civil servants and closed 15 more media outlets over suspected links with armed groups and Gulen.

Cumhuriyet, known for its critical stance towards the government, got wide international attention in 2015 when it reported on a fleet of Syria-bound trucks allegedly sent by the country’s intelligence agency, carrying weapons to Syrian anti-government fighters.

Can Dundar, Cumhuriyet’s previous editor, was sentenced to six years for publishing state secrets for that report.

His conviction prompted censure from rights groups and Western governments worried about worsening human rights in Turkey.

Dundar, who lives in Germany now, has ruled out returning to Turkey until the emergency measures are abolished.

Source: Al Jazeera And Agencies

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