Operations are anti-democratic and illegal. What is going on in Turkey?

At least 23 people were detained in a nationwide operation early on Sunday, including journalists, and dozens of others are expected to be taken into custody later in the day. Turkey’s largest daily of Zaman newspaper’s Chief Editor Ekrem Dumanlı detained at his office by Turkish police. . Recent detentions are evaluated as cover an anniversary of December 17, 2013 operations against several ministers of ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government accusing them in bribery acts. Thousands of Ankara citizens gathered in front of the capital city’s courthouse on Sunday to protest police raids against Turkey’s largest daily of Zaman newspaper and Samanyolu TV Network.

Twitter Phenomenon ‘Fuat Avni’ knew once again”

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resZaman Daily Editor in Chief Ekrem Dumanlı is on air at  news conference…

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Turkish police have raided the Zaman daily headquarters in İstanbul in early-morning operation, but failed to detain the chief of the newspaper.

Anti-terrorism units from İstanbul police department arrived at Zaman building in Yenibosna on Sunday morning, facing a fierce resistance by protesters. The police officials were allowed to enter inside the building, but could not proceed further as heavy presence of protesters created a small stampede.

The police reportedly came to detain Zaman daily editor-in-chief Ekrem Dumanlı. The officials said they could not “fulfill their tasks” because of the pressure and had to leave the building. Protesters chanted unceasing slogans such as “Free Media Cannot be Silenced.”

Operations anti-democratic, illegal exclaims newspaper editor in chief

Following the claims that that a major government-backed police operation to detain many journalists will kick off on Sunday, Ekrem Dumanlı, editor in chief of the Turkey’s largest circulated newspaper whose name was included in the list of possible detainees, gave an exclusive interview to Cihan News Agency.

Referring the illegal operations planned and initiated by some members of the government, Zaman Daily Editor in Chief Ekrem Dumanlı ascertained, “Things that are being executed are anti-democratic, unlawful, illegal.”

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The detentions came days after the government-sponsored bill was signed into law that made it possible to arrest suspects based on “reasonable doubt.” The suspects even included screen writers, accused of charges that are still unknown.
The much-anticipated arrests came with two protests outside the Zaman and Samanyolu TV network headquarters in two sides of İstanbul, demonstrating against the detention of their chiefs, Ekrem Dumanlı and Hidayet Karaca. Karaca went to police to surrender and he was detained as part of the operation.
The operation, supervised by İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, seeks to arrest at least 32 suspects, including many journalists, mostly in İstanbul. The operation is ordered by prosecutor Hasan Yılmaz.
Early on Sunday, police officers raided houses of several screen writers and producers across Turkey. Officers first detained Samayolu’s Sungurlar TV series producers Salih Asan and Engin Koç, Tek Türkiye TV series screen writer Ali Kara and former İstanbul anti-terrorism unit chief Tufan Ergüder.
The suspects are accused of “taking over the sovereignty of the Turkish Republic by pressure and threat, establishing an illegal gang, faking documents, restricting peoples’ freedom and libel.” The officials detained police officials who carried out raids against the Tahşiye Group in 2009, which is allegedly linked to the al-Qaeda.
Five police officials who are thought to be part of the “gang” are currently behind bars from a separate investigation. They will be brought to a courthouse for an interrogation.
In Van, another Samanyolu TV screen writer, Makbule Çam Alemdağ, was detained from her house.

Turkish police have reportedly detained two producers from Samanyolu TV in the first wave of what was said to be a large-scale operation against the media across Turkey.

Samanyolu TV lawyer Fikret Duran said on Sunday morning that producer of Tek Türkiye series of Samanyolu TV Salih Asan was taken into custody in central Turkish province of Eskişehir. He stated that police searched the house of Asan and took him for interrogation.

The lawyer added that producer of Sungurlar series of the same network, Engin Koç, was also detained in a pre-dawn raid in eastern province of Van.

Pronouncing his internment via his official Twitter account, “I’m being detained as of the moment. If my offense is to serve to our nation and state. Yes I committted that crime.” Asan noted.

Police officers on Sunday raided Turkey’s largest circulating newspaper Zaman’s headquarters in İstanbul but had to leave premises due to a lack of signature on warrant witnesses told. Following a long quarrel with barristers to achieve permission to step into the building, police officer left to come back with a new warrant.

Although it is weekend, many of the Zaman workers have spent the night at the building and readers of the daily outside of the campus. Supporters of media freedom shouted “Free media can not be silenced.” while police officers were present at the office.

WHISTLEBLOWER EXPOSES OPERATION TO DETAIN JOURNALISTS

A Twitter user known by the pseudonym Fuat Avni, who has revealed many government-backed police operations to the public, said on Saturday night that the raids, which were originally planned to take place early on Friday morning but were postponed after he revealed the secret plans, will be carried out beginning on Sunday.

The whistleblower tweeted that due to strong reactions to the initial operation planned to be carried out on Friday, the police limited the list of journalists to be detained. He said liberal and main stream journalists will not be targeted “for now.”

(Cihan/Today’Zaman)

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