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Turkish police raid media close to Muslim cleric, 24 arrested

Sunday, December 14, 2014 - 01:22

Police raid media outlets close to a Muslim cleric and detain at least 24 people in operations against what President Tayyip Erdogan calls a terrorist network conspiring to topple him. Mana Rabiee reports.

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These Turkish supporters of a Muslim cleric in exile say it's a day of shame for democracy. This, after police raided media outlets closely associated with the cleric, where according to reports, 24 people were detained. Police say arrest warrants have been issued for at least 31 people on charges of "establishing a terrorist group", forgery and slander. President Tayyip Erdogan says they're part of a terrorist network wielding influence through the media to topple him. But inside the headquarters of the Zaman Daily Newspaper, editor Ekrem Dumanli, says nothing less than freedom of expression in Turkey is at stake: (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) EDITOR OF ZAMAN NEWSPAPER EKREM DUMANLI, SAYING: "New laws are being legislated, everybody is being made a suspect and the next step would be suspending the parliament because freedom of expression has two legs. One is media, the other is parliament. If you silence us here, the only institution will be parliament. You will ruin Turkey." The raids on the media outlets mark an escalation of Erdogan's battle with the cleric, Fetullah Gulen, once an ally. The two men have had an open conflict since a graft investigation targeting Erdogan's inner circle emerged a year ago.

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Turkish police raid media close to Muslim cleric, 24 arrested

Sunday, December 14, 2014 - 01:22