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Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cheer as he addresses parliament in Ankara, Turkey, November 7, 2017. Turkish authorities, under Erdogan's leadership, began a wide-reaching crackdown after a failed attempted coup in June 2016. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of November 5, 2017

By Özgür Öğret/CPJ Turkey Representative on November 9, 2017 5:42 PM ET

Journalists arrested

A Turkish court on November 9 arrested Nuh Gönültaş, a columnist for the shuttered daily Bugün, Behram Kılıç, a sports reporter for the now-shuttered daily Zaman, and Mehmet Gündem, who formerly worked for Zaman and pro-government outlets including the state-run broadcaster TRT, according to the English-language news site Turkish Minute.

On November 8, authorities detained the three journalists, along with 45 other people, as part of a new government investigation targeting the Istanbul-based Journalist and Writers Foundation, a non-governmental organization that was affiliated with the Fethullah Gülen movement, according to Turkish Minute. Turkish authorities labeled the exiled cleric Gülen and his followers terrorists in the wake of a failed attempted coup in June 2016.

Journalists attacked

A group of people on November 4 punched journalist and writer Sabahattin Önkibar and vandalized his stand at a book fair in Istanbul, according to the daily Hürriyet.

Önkibar was scheduled to sign his new book, Asena, a biography of a veteran politician, Meral Akşener, when the attack occurred. Akşener recently founded a nationalist party that recent polls indicate could present a threat to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Reuters reported.

Police detained two suspects, according to the Hürriyet report.

Journalists released

An Istanbul court on November 9 released from prison Gökmen Ulu, a reporter for the daily Sözcü, according to Ulu's employer. His trial is ongoing and he has been banned from foreign travel.

Turkish prosecutors accused Ulu of exposing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's location shortly before the failed attempted coup in June 2016 because the journalist reported that Erdoğan was on vacation when the coup began.


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