Turkish daily probed over scoop on Syria-bound intelligence trucks

Turkish daily probed over scoop on Syria-bound intelligence trucks

Turkish daily probed over scoop on Syria-bound intelligence trucks

Gendarmerie teams stopped the seven trucks last year, following a tip-off that they were carrying weapons and ammunition. DHA photo

Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into daily Cumhuriyet over its May 29 story on Syria-bound trucks belonging to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), which were stopped and searched by soldiers last year.

The trucks belonging to MİT were stopped by a prosecutor who sought to have the gendarmerie search the vehicles in the southern Turkish province of Adana in January 2014 before they crossed into Syria. Claiming that the trucks were carrying “humanitarian aid to Turkmens” in the war-torn country, the Turkish government accused the followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen in the state’s judiciary and security institutions of illegally ordering the search.

On May 29, Cumhuriyet published photographs taken by the police and gendarmerie forces, allegedly showing the weapons seized during the controversial raid. The report said artillery shells, mortar bombs and machine gun ammunition were hidden in crates below boxes of medicine in the trucks.

Prosecutors immediately launched an anti-terrorism probe into Cumhuriyet over the story, Radikal has reported. Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Dündar, on the other hand, said the investigation targeting him was on a charge that the newspaper "publicized information that must remain confidential."

Prosecutors also ordered authorities to block access to all websites that published the photographs of the raid.

In February 2014, a ban was imposed on the publication of reports about the search, and in April 2015, a Turkish court arrested 17 active soldiers who stopped the trucks.