COVID-19 Special Coverage
Turkish officials detain 13 journalists as a part of crackdown following coup attempt
Turkish officials detain 13 journalists as a part of crackdown following coup attempt

[JURIST] Officials in Turkey on Monday detained and searched the homes of 13 reporters alleging that, during the failed coup attempt in Turkey, they published stories seeking to “legitimize” those participating in the coup. Among those detained [CNN report] was Murat Sabuncu the Editor-in-Chief of Cumhuriyet, an opposition magazine known to be critical of the Turkish government. Cumhuriyet, in conjunction with other news organizations, released a statement [text, in Turkish] of support for the journalists calling the detentions “persecution” and its intent not to surrender as “journalism is not a crime.”

The aftermath of the failed coup attempt continues as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed [JURIST report] that those involved in the coup would “pay a heavy price.” Over the weekend Turkey’s government dismissed [JURIST report] 10,000 additional civil servants and closed 15 more media outlets for their supposed connection with US-based religious leader Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey has accused of orchestrating the attempted coup in July. Last month Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said that approximately 32,000 people had been arrested [JURIST report] in relation to the recent coup attempt, and 70,000 have been questioned. In August a group of human rights experts for the UN called upon [JURIST report] Turkey’s government to uphold its international human rights obligations, despite declared emergency following failed coup. Also in August an Istanbul court issued an arrest warrant [JURIST report] for Gulen on charges of orchestrating the attempted coup. Earlier in August Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland traveled [JURIST report] to Turkey to meet with a variety of Turkish officials to urge for respect for the rule of law. In July Amnesty International condemned [JURIST report] Turkey’s decision to issue arrest warrants for 42 journalists. Also in July Erdogan ordered [JURIST report] the closure of thousands of private schools, charities and other institutions.