Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has shut down over 130 media outlets as he continues his crackdown on a failed coup two weeks ago.

Erdoğan believes Fethullah Gülen’s followers orchestrated a coup that failed miserably. Now anyone he suspects supports the scholar will lose their job or be detained without any proof.

The government shuttered “23 radio stations, three news agencies and 15 magazines.” They also detained 47 journalists from the now defunct Zaman newspaper. They shut down that paper in March which they viewed “as the Gulen movement’s flagship media organization. Reuters reported:

“The prosecutors aren’t interested in what individual columnists wrote or said,” said the official, who requested anonymity. “At this point, the reasoning is that prominent employees of Zaman are likely to have intimate knowledge of the Gulen network and as such could benefit the investigation.”

However, the list includes journalists, such as Sahin Alpay, known for their leftist activism who do not share the religious worldview of the Gulenist movement. This has fueled the concerns that the investigation may be turning into a witch-hunt of the president’s political opponents.

The media reported on Monday that arrest warrants had been issued for 42 other journalists, 16 of whom have so far been taken into custody.

Alpay is a former official of Turkey’s left-leaning, secularist main opposition CHP party. The Dogan news agency said police raided his home in Istanbul early on Wednesday and detained him after a 2-1/2-hour search of the property.

The government even tried to reach its tentacles into other nations! They demanded Kosovo “punish a prominent journalist over satirical comments he made abut the failed coup.” Minister of Foreign Affairs Enver Hoxhaj called the request “unacceptable:”

As the July 15 coup attempt unfolded in Turkey, Berat Buzhala, a popular Kosovo journalist wrote on Facebook: “I invite the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo who are holidaying in Turkey to align with the army.”

Buzhala, known for his satirical comments, said that “This is the most serious coup since the arrival of Facebook.”

The Facebook post was signed with an emoticon with a tongue protruding, indicating the comment was a joke.

Reporters Without Borders criticized the actions:

“Criticizing the government and working for media outlets that support the Gulen Movement do not constitute evidence of involvement in the failed coup,” said Johann Bihr, who heads the organization’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.

[Featured image via YouTube]


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