At least 23 detained in nationwide raid against media, police

Sun 14, December 2014 Kategori 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.

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.

Last Modified: 2014-12-14 13:36:51
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