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Turkey editors arrested for 'coup attempt'

November 3, 2015

Turkish authorities are holding two journalists over claims they promoted an uprising against the state. The move is seen as further proof of President Erdogan's determination to clamp down on opposition media.

Journalist protest in Turkey
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Suna

Two editors of the government-critical political weekly "Nokta" were arrested in Istanbul on Tuesday for an alleged coup attempt.

Editor-In-Chief Cevher Guven and news editor Murat Capan of the left-leaning "Nokta" face charges of inciting an armed uprising after the magazine's latest issue suggested that the aftermath of Sunday's election would spell the beginning of civil war in Turkey.

Capan and Guven are the latest journalists targeted by authorities in a nationwide crackdown on news outlets that are critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP), which solidified its grip on Turkish politics in the weekend's parliamentary election.

Journalists previously accused of conspiracies against the administration in Ankara have languished in prison for months or even years as they await trial.

Although Turkey aspires to European Union membership, it remains in the bottom segment of global press freedom rankings. Rights groups have long accused Erdogan and the AKP of trying to silence opposition media. In the days ahead of the election, the authorities seized two left-wing newspapers and took two television channels off the air.

Erdogan's opponents fear that the AKP's victory in Sunday's election will make it easy for him to assume greater presidential powers, paving the way for increasingly authoritarian rule.

es/jm (AP, Reuters)