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More than 130 media organizations have been close in Turkey, as a crackdown continues following the failed coup on July 15.

According to Turkish authorities, 3 news agencies, 16 TV channels, 23 radio stations, 45 papers, 15 magazines and 29 publishers will be shut.

In March, Zaman, once one of Turkey’s biggest newspapers, was put under state control. Arrest warrants have been issued for 47 staff.

Many of the media outlets are linked to the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen

The government says Fethullah Gulen was behind the army-led attempted coup, a claim he denies.Turkey media crackdown

Separately, the government announced on July 27 that nearly 1,700 members of the armed forces, including 149 generals and admirals had been discharged.

At least 246 people died during the coup, and more than 2,000 people were injured.

Both the closure of the media outlets and the soldiers’ dismissal were announced in Turkey’s official Resmi Gazete.

While most are relatively small provincial outlets, several with a national audience have also been targeted.

Zaman‘s readers were mostly Fethullah Gulen supporters, who stopped reading it after the state takeover in March, rendering it unprofitable.

In addition to the warrants issued for the 47 Zaman staff, authorities had sought the arrest of 42 other journalists earlier in the week.

Among those discharged from the armed forces are 87 army generals, 30 air force generals and 32 admirals.

The Turkish army also revealed that 8,651 members, or 1.5%, of the nation’s armed forces had taken part in the failed coup.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to purge state bodies of the “virus” he says caused the revolt.

Last week, Turkey declared a three-month state of emergency, allowing the president and the government to bypass parliament when drafting new laws and to restrict or suspend rights and freedoms.


Prominent Turkish journalists Can Dundar and Erdem Gul, from the newspaper Cumhuriyet, are due to go on trial charged with revealing state secrets.

They were arrested in November 2015 over a report alleging that the Turkish government had tried to ship arms to Islamists in Syria.

Can Dundar and Erdem Gul deny the charges but face possible life sentences if found guilty.

Supporters of the two journalists say the case is an important test of press freedom in Turkey.

The Turkish government has come under increasing international criticism over its treatment of journalists.

Earlier this month, Turkish police raided the offices of the country’s biggest newspaper, Zaman, hours after a court ruling placed it under state control.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Can Dundar, Cumhuriyet‘s editor-in-chief, and Erdem Gul, Ankara bureau chief, were arrested in November 2015.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan personally filed a criminal complaint against the Cumhuriyet journalists.

They were held on pre-trial detention but were released in February after the Constitutional Court ruled their rights to liberty and free expression had been violated.

Can Dundar said the government was trying to intimidate Turkey’s journalists.

“There’s an effort to arrest an entire profession and the public – what foreigners call a <<chilling effect>>,” he said.

“What’s trying to be created is a mechanism of self-censorship and an increasing empire of fear.”

Campaigners say the case is politically motivated and part of a growing crackdown on media critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On March 24, dozens of prominent writers published an open letter to PM Ahmet Davutoglu, urging the government to drop the charges against the Cumhuriyet journalists.

“We believe that Can Dundar and Erdem Gul are facing life in prison simply for carrying out their legitimate work as journalists,” they said.

The letter also voiced concern over the “increasing climate of fear and censorship and the stifling of critical voices in Turkey”.

Zaman newspaper is closely linked to the Hizmet movement of influential US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The government says Hizmet is a “terrorist” group aiming to overthrow Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Fethullah Gulen was once an ally of Recep Tayyip Erdogan but is now seen by the Turkish President as a threat to his authority.

EU officials have sharply criticized a mass arrest of media representatives in Turkey.

Foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and the commissioner heading EU enlargement talks said the arrests went “against European values”.

At least 24 people were arrested in police raids on leading newspaper Zaman and Samanyolu TV station said to have close links with opposition parties.

Those detained are accused of trying to seize control of the state.

The Zaman newspaper and Samanyolu TV channel both have ties to US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, the spiritual leader of the Hizmet movement.

A former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Fethullah Gulen – who lives in self-imposed exile – is accused of running a “parallel state” within Turkey.

In a statement, Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said any move towards EU membership depended on “full respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights”.

The raids and arrests “are incompatible with the freedom of media, which is a core principle of democracy,” the pair said in a statement.

“We expect that the principle of presumption of innocence will prevail and recall the inalienable right for an independent and transparent investigation.”

The raids come days after Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged a fresh campaign against Fethullah Gulen’s supporters.Turkey media raids

Journalists, producers, scriptwriters and an eastern Turkey police chief were all arrested, among them the editor-in-chief of Zaman newspaper and the chairman of Samanyolu TV.

Staff at Zaman reported on the incident as police mounted a Sunday morning raid on their offices.

Staff and supporters held placards and chanted “free press cannot be silenced” as police raided the building.

Editor-in-chief Ekrem Dumanli smiled and studied police documents before being led through the newspaper’s headquarters to applause from staff crowded onto balconies.

“Let those who have committed a crime be scared. We are not scared,” Ekrem Dumanli said as he was led into a waiting police car, according to Reuters.

The chairman of Samanyolu TV, which also has links to Fethullah Gulen, was detained in a separate raid in Istanbul.

Hidayet Karaca told reporters the operation was “a disgrace for Turkey” before his arrest.

“Sadly in 21st Century Turkey this is the treatment they dish out to a media group with tens of television and radio stations, internet media and magazines,” the English edition of Zaman quoted him as saying.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party, called the raids “a coup”.

Staff at Zaman had been expecting the raid after details of the swoop were leaked by a Twitter user known as Fuat Avni, who has previously leaked advance details of police operations.