Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses supporters in Istanbul, August 7, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan waves to supporters at an August 7, 2016, rally in Istanbul. (Ozan Kose/AFP)

Turkish prosecutors issue 35 arrest warrants for journalists

New York, August 30, 2016 — Turkish prosecutors should cancel orders for the detention of 35 journalists, and authorities should unconditionally release all journalists already jailed, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police today detained at least nine of the journalists on the list, according to press reports.

“Turkey is detaining journalists and shutting down news outlets faster than any other country in the world,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “It seems hell-bent on silencing every critical journalist left. We call on the government to reverse this disastrous course.”

Today’s detentions were the latest in a crackdown on the press that has accelerated since a failed military coup left more than 200 people dead on the night of July 15. Prosecutors accuse the journalists of affiliation with the Gülenist movement — or FETÖ, as the government calls it – which the government accuses of being a terrorist organization, maintaining a “parallel state structure,” and orchestrating the failed coup. Turkish authorities have also redoubled their crackdown on pro-Kurdish media since July 15.

The government has closed more than 100 broadcasters, newspapers, magazines, publishers, and distribution companies and has detained more than 100 journalists and media workers over the space of a month.