Mehmet Kuru

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Police in the central Turkish province of Eskişehir detained Mehmet Kuru, a former reporter for the shuttered daily newspaper Zaman, on August 6, 2016, as part of a sweeping purge of suspected followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen. 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, according to press reports.

The reports did not specify what charges Kuru faces, but a court in March 2016 ordered Zaman‘s parent company put under trustees selected by the government, saying the company and the newspaper had ties to the Gülenist network. CPJ research shows that authorities have targeted dozens of former Zaman journalists with arrest and prosecution on terrorism charges since the failed July 2016 coup based on their past affiliation with the newspaper. The government used emergency powers it assumed after that coup attempt to order the newspaper closed by decree on July 27, 2016, CPJ reported at the time.