Journalist Ahmet Altan, academic Mehmet Altan detained

Journalist Ahmet Altan, academic Mehmet Altan detained

Journalist Ahmet Altan, academic Mehmet Altan detained

Journalist Ahmet Altan (L) and academic Mehmet Altan.

Prominent journalist Ahmet Altan and his brother, academic and columnist Prof. Mehmet Altan, were detained on Sept. 10 for questioning.

Announcing the detentions, Istanbul-based Platform for Independent Journalism (P24) said the reason for the detentions was “Altan brothers' statements on a TV show before the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey.”

State-run Anadolu Agency reported that the Altan brothers were detained because of the remarks they made on a program on Can Erzincan TV on July 14. 

Ahmet Altan participated in the program hosted by Mehmet Altan, along with Nazlı Ilıcak who was arrested on July 29 on terrorism charges in the probe into the failed coup.

During the program, the suspects “gave subliminal messages suggesting a military coup,” according to an official document sent to the police by the prosecutor’s office.

The suspects in their remarks “threatened” the Turkish government and the president, and announced the coup attempt, the prosecutor said, adding that “[suspects] could not have known about the coup attempt and announce it to shape the public perception if they had not been a part of the terrorist organization before.”

Ilıcak’s testimony will also be sought as part of the probe, Anadolu Agency said. 

Ahmet Altan, a prominent novelist and former editor-in-chief of daily Taraf, is also on trial along with his colleagues for “leaking state secrets” for stories on an alleged coup plan by the Turkish military.

Meanwhile, Hürriyet reporter Arda Akın, who had been arrested for alleged links to the Fethullah Gülen network, accused of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt, was released pending trial late on Sept. 9.

More than 100 journalists have been arrested since July 15 in the probe against followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.