Turkish deputy PM objects to arrest of media bosses
AA PhotoDeputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has opposed the detention of two media chiefs who were taken into custody in controversial weekend raids on journalists and television staff linked to U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
“It is not right to deprive a person of their personal freedom for even a single day,” Arınç told reporters on Dec. 19.
“I don’t know what evidence they have in hand and I don’t know how serious it is, but looking at what is being said, the arrests should be exceptional,” he said.
“I believe it would be more appropriate if they were tried without being under arrest. I can personally state that trial without arrest would be more appropriate for justice in Turkey and for satisfying the conscience of the people,” Arınç added.
His remarks came as eyes were set on a local court in Istanbul that was expected to make its decision concerning 16 people, including two editors-in-chief, who were detained in a Dec. 14 operation and sent to the court for arrest after their testimonies were taken by the police.
Ekrem Dumanlı, the editor-in-chief of daily Zaman, and Hidayet Karaca, the head of Samanyolu TV, were being interrogated by Istanbul judges to decide whether to remand them in custody ahead of trial.