Turkish police raid Gülen-linked Feza Publications for printing ‘imitation’ newspaper
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoTurkish police have raided the Istanbul offices of Feza Publications for printing an imitation of dailies Bugün and Millet called “Özgür Bugün” and “Özgür Millet” (“Özgür” meaning “free” in Turkish), referring to a Koza-İpek Group newspaper which adopted a pro-government stance after a caretaker took control of its management.
Five policemen accompanied by two lawyers initiated an investigation at 10 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the printing house of Feza Publications, which is long known to have close ties with the movement led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s friend-turn-foe Fethullah Gülen.
The search warrant, issued by Bakırköy’s Third Criminal Court of Peace, said the printing of Özgür Bugün and Özgür Millet was a trademark infringement on the part of Feza, which is also the publisher of dailies Zaman and Today’s Zaman and whose printing house is situated behind Zaman’s headquarters.
As part of the search, all employees were brought out of the workplace while one water cannon and around 60 riot police stood by to intervene if necessary.
Millet managing director and lawyer Olcay Kaan made a statement to the press once the Nov. 12 editions of both dailies were seized by the police and said the search was completed in the face of “threats, insults and curses.”
“Police have seized newspapers dated Nov. 12 which were printed by Feza Publications as ‘Özgür Bugün’ and ‘Özgür Millet,’ infringing our patent rights,” Kaan said.
In his answer to a question on whether the search was conducted in the printing house of Feza Publications or expanded elsewhere, Kaan stated all seized newspapers were found inside trucks.
“We arrived here at 9 p.m. but could get inside only at 10:20 p.m. They probably attempted to take somethings out in that period but boxes full of Özgür Bugün daily were seized inside a truck we searched,” he stated.
The six-hour-long search was completed at 3 p.m., when police officers and lawyers left the printing house on Nov. 12.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Oct. 26 ordered the Koza-İpek Group to be placed under the management of a caretaker while an investigation continues into the group’s purported ties to Fethullah Gülen, who is currently wanted for “being the head of and managing a terror organization.”
Istanbul police used force on Oct. 28 to enter the group’s headquarters, dramatically breaking into the main broadcasting room and shutting down Kanaltürk and Bugün TV.
Fifty-eight employees working at Bugün, Millet and private broadcasters Bugün TV and Kanaltürk, which are owned by the Koza-İpek Media Group, were forced to take a mandatory leave from work.