Turkish Police Raid Media Outlets Close To Muslim Cleric Fethullah Gulen
Turkish police raided a television station and a newspaper close to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen on Sunday, detaining some people, media reports said, two days after President Tayyip Erdogan signalled a fresh campaign against Gulen’s supporters.
Police launched simultaneous operations at various addresses in Istanbul and provinces across Turkey, detaining people including a top executive of a television channel close to Gulen.Arrest warrants were issued for 32 people.
“The free press cannot be silenced,” a crowd chanted at the Istanbul offices of newspaper Zaman as editor Ekrem Dumanli made a speech to them broadcast live on television.
The raid on daily Zaman occurred at 7.15 a.m. in local time, as the supporters of the paper stood on guard in front of the building over rumors that such an operation would take place.
Samanyolu Media Group Head Hidayet Karaca and a producer, scriptwriter and director were also detained, according to reports.
Tufan Ergüder, the former head of the Istanbul Police Department’s anti-terror branch and the former head of the Hakkari Police Department, was also detained in the Dec. 14 operation.
As the raids were being carried out, the crowd outside the Zaman offices chanted slogans and held banners reading, “The free press cannot be silenced.” Dumanlı also made a speech, broadcast live on television, defiantly calling on police to detain him.