Twitter whistleblower’s claims on police raids against Gülenists cause stir
Deputy PM Arınç expressed concerns after a Twitter uses claimed that 400 prominent people, including over 150 journalists known to be linked to the Gülen movement, were to be detained by police on Dec. 12. AA PhotoTurkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said rumors voiced by a mysterious Twitter user named “Fuat Avni,” over the potential detention of dozens of journalists known to have been close to the U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen, should be taken “seriously.”
“I find the Twitter posts to be serious. I hope they will not come to pass, or not come true to this extent, for anything to happen out of jurisdiction,” Arınç said during budget discussions at Parliament late on Dec. 11.
In his most recent tweets posted on Dec. 10, Fuat Avni, whose identity remains unknown, suggested that several journalists close to Gülen movement, including Ekrem Dumanlı, the editor-in-chief of daily Zaman, would be detained in a raid on Dec. 12. He also gave many details about the dates, names and cities of alleged police operations, but later on Dec. 11 he posted more tweets suggesting that the police operations had been cancelled after the raid was revealed.
Hundreds of Gülen sympathizers gathered in front of the Zaman office and the police headquarters in Istanbul late on Dec. 11 in solidarity with the journalists rumored to be arrested.
Dumanlı told the supporters gathered in front of the daily’s building late on Dec. 11 that there is a “problem with the protection freedom of speech in Turkey.”
“Those who take this issue as a matter between a [Gülen] community and a political party [the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)] are wrong. Fundamental human rights are under threat in Turkey. But we are not hopeless. The media, the Parliament, the people cannot be silenced in this country,” he said.
The Oct. 21 police raids to detain top police officers suspected of involvement in illegal eavesdropping on senior officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, were similarly leaked overnight by Fuat Avni before the raids were carried out.