Turkish Police raid Gülen-linked Koza İpek Companies

ppppTurkey’s  police are searching the premises of a business and media group known to be close to a U.S.-based Muslim cleric whom the government accuses of trying to destabilize it.

Police on Tuesday were searching 23 companies in Ankara linked to Koza Ipek Holding over suspicion of providing financial assistance to the movement led by Fethullah Gulen.

Koza Ipek Holding owns opposition television stations Bugun TV and Kanal Turk as well as Bugun and Millet newspapers, among other business interests.

The government accuses the movement of orchestrating a corruption scandal in 2013 with the aim of toppling it. Gulen has rejected the accusation.
The government described the investigations as a coup attempt launched by Gülenists working within the security and judiciary institutions. The move was followed with a massive reshuffling in the bureaucracy, criminal investigations and ultimately the declaration of the Gülenist movement as a terrorist organization.

A well-known social media whistleblower nicknamed Fuat Avni, who is thought to have close links to the Gülen movement while still sustaining information channels with the top echelons of the government, recently claimed on Twitter that the administration was “planning an operation to silence critical media” before the Nov. 1 election.

Akın İpek said in a written statement on Aug. 31 that the corporation’s 27 companies had been under financial inspection for the past two years. “Our group cannot be part of a crime scenario even if it is fictional,” he said, vowing to “disprove the slander with documents.”

 

Critics say the police operation on Koza Ipek aims to muzzle opposition media ahead a Nov. 1 election.

 

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