Resul Cengiz

Beats Covered:
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Police in the western Turkish province of Denizli on August 5, 2016, detained Resul Cengiz, a former reporter for the shuttered Cihan News Agency, as part of a sweeping purge of journalists and others suspected of following exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, according to press reports. 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 July 15, 2016, military coup.

A local court ordered Cengiz jailed pending trial on terrorism charges on August 10, 2016, the reports said.

In March 2016 a court ordered the Cihan News Agency’s parent company, the Feza Media Group, put under trustees selected by the government, saying the company and its news outlets had ties to the Gülenist network.

The news agency 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. Since then, CPJ research shows that Turkish authorities have jailed dozens of journalists formerly employed by outlets owned by the Feza Media Group, pending trial on terrorism-related offenses.