Turkish journalist faces detention after ‘praising’ armed attack on opposition leader
ISTANBULAn Istanbul prosecutor has issued a detention warrant for journalist Ergun Babahan over a tweet he posted appearing to praise the armed attack on the motorcade of main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Aug. 25.
“All those lend support to fascism will pay for it. This includes Kılıçdaorğlu. This is just a beginning!” wrote Babahan.
Kılıçdaroğlu narrowly escaped an attack by outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) militants in the eastern Black Sea province of Artvin on the afternoon of Aug. 25. One soldier was killed in the attack and two others were wounded by gunfire.
After criticism of his post, Babahan posted another tweet claiming he had been misunderstood.
“This is not praising the attack. It only talks about the consequences … The fascistic understanding unites wide sections of society against an enemy. Then it comes for those who support it,” he added.
Prosecutor Umut Tepe launched a probe on charges of “praising crime and criminal” and issued a detention warrant.
Babahan is known for making controversial social media posts and for his apparent closeness to Fethullah Gülen, the U.S.-based Islamic preacher who is thought to be behind Turkey’s July 15 coup attempt. He previously worked at the Gülen-linked daily Today’s Zaman, which has since been closed down.
Several media reports had claimed that Babahan had fled Turkey after the failed coup.
“The prosecutors should wait until the state of emergency is over,” he added in another tweet, referring to the three-month state of emergency declared by the Turkish government after the coup attempt, which claimed more than 240 lives.