Daily Cumhuriyet’s web chief detained, triggering criticism
ISTANBULPolice detained the chief online editor of daily Cumhuriyet in Istanbul on May 12.
“I am being detained,” Cumhuriyet.com.tr Editor-in-Chief Oğuz Güven tweeted just after 7 a.m.
State-run Anadolu Agency said Güven was detained over a report regarding the death of a chief public prosecutor in a car accident in the western province of Denizli.
Denizli Chief Public Prosecutor Mustafa Alper, 48, and his driver, Muzaffer Akşehirli, were killed on May 10 when a truck laden with debris crashed into their car on a highway in the Merkezefendi district.
Alper was the first chief public prosecutor to launch an investigation into the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) after the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the group.
DİSK Basın-İş, the union to which Güven is a member, decried the journalist’s detention.
“He must be released,” the union said.
The Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) and Press Council also released statements regarding Güven’s detention.
TGC head Turgay Olcayto and General Secretary Sibel Güneş criticized “the intimidation policy” aimed at the daily.
The Press Council, meanwhile, said the incident was another shock given that 159 journalists are under arrest.
“We learned that Güven and journalist Serhat Yaruk were detained in the early hours of the day. At a time when we were expecting journalists to be released and tried without arrest, new detentions and arrests don’t befit democracy,” the statement said, adding that “words are being tracked and headlines are being detained now.”
“Detaining people from their houses is typical of totalitarian regimes,” it also said.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) also criticized the detention, with CHP Istanbul deputy Barış Yarkadaş saying “the method of detention can’t be accepted.”
Another CHP Istanbul lawmaker, Mahmut Tanal, also issued a tweet on the issue, saying that “he is protesting the detention.”
A total of 12 Cumhuriyet columnists and executives are currently in prison on alleged terror charges.