Abdullah Özyurt

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A court in the southern province of Adana on July 25, 2016, ordered Abdullah Özyurt, a reporter for the shuttered daily newspaper Zaman, jailed pending trial as part of a sweeping purge of journalists and others suspected of following exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, the daily newspaper Evrensel reported, citing the Doğan News Agency. The government accuses Gülen of maintaining a terrorist organization and “parallel state structure” (or FETÖ/PDY, as the government calls it) within Turkey that it blames for orchestrating a failed military coup on July 15, 2016. The Evrensel report did not specify when police detained the journalist.

Zaman was among the more than 100 newspapers, broadcasters, news agencies, and magazines the Turkish government ordered closed by decree on July 27, 2016, using emergency powers it assumed after the attempted coup, saying the media outlets were FETÖ/PDY mouthpieces, according to Turkey’s Official Gazette.

CPJ research shows that Turkish authorities have persistently targeted Zaman journalists with prosecutions and arrest on allegations of terrorism.

As of late 2016, Özyurt was jailed in Hatay Prison, a family member told CPJ, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.