Turkey detains staff at leading opposition paper

Other | Tuesday 1st November 2016 | Arren

Writers from a major Turkish opposition paper were arrested on Monday.

Following the arrests the I.P.I is calling on Turkey to release the journalists. 

Turkish police have detained the editor-in-chief and several senior staff from the opposition paper Cumhuriyet as part of the country's continuing crackdown on free speech.

It was reported on Monday that the editor Murat Sabuncu and other members of staff, including their lawyer and numerous writers, were arrested after raids. Local police had warrants for 16 workers at the paper. Cumhuriyet is one of the countries oldest newspapers and a leading opposition daily.

The attack on the left leaning, pro-secular newspaper was launched because of alleged 'activities' and for 'committing crimes' on behalf of the movement led by Fethullah Gülen, a US based Muslim cleric blamed for the failed military coup earlier this year, and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Turkish authorities also issued two decrees shutting down 15 other media outlets and sacking 10,000 civil servants.

"In the face of immense personal risks, Cumhuriyet is flying the flag of free speech in Turkey, during a critical time for the people of that nation" said Ole von Uexkull, the Exective Director of the Right Livelihood Award.

Close to 37,000 people have been arrested in Turkey in the investigation following the coup, which has also seen 100,000 people fired or suspended from government jobs.

The arrests at the paper happened not too long after they received the Right Livelihood Award for it's continued efforts to call out the Turkish Government despite the current repressive mood in the country.

Cumhuriyet released a statement following the crackdown, vowing to 'fight until the end for democracy and freedom'.