Turkish authorities issued warrants on Monday for the detention of 42 journalists and took 31 academics into custody, official media reported, as the government pressed ahead with a crackdown against people allegedly linked to a U.S.-based Muslim cleric following a failed coup.
The state-run Anadolu news agency said the list of journalists wanted for questioning included prominent writer Nazli Ilicak, who is critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ilicak has opposed the government clampdown on a movement led by Fethullah Gulen, the cleric accused by Turkey of directing the July 15 coup attempt. Gulen has denied any involvement in the failed insurrection that left about 290 people dead and was put down by loyalist forces and pro-government protesters.
So far, five journalists have been detained for questioning, Anadolu reported.
Prosecutors requested their detention to shed light on the coup plot and the warrants are not related to their “journalistic activities, but possible criminal conduct,” a senior official in Erdogan’s office said in a text message sent to foreign media. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with Turkish government regulations.
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