January 15, 2020 / 4:06 PM / 2 days ago

Turkey summons Egypt diplomat after raid on Anadolu agency in Cairo

CAIRO/ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey summoned a senior Egyptian diplomat on Wednesday to protest about a raid by Egyptian security forces on a Cairo office of Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu, a move in which four people were detained.

Egypt’s interior ministry confirmed the raid and detentions, saying the location of the raid, which it said was a flat, had been used to produce false and “negative” information.

Anadolu said its four employees, including one Turkish national, had been taken to an undisclosed location after the raid.

“The National security authorities detected one of the Turkish electronic media committees using a flat ... as a centre for its adverse activity,” the interior ministry said in a statement. It accused Turkey and the banned Muslim Brotherhood of being behind the activity.

Ankara’s relations with Cairo have been frosty since the Egyptian army ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Mursi, an ally of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, in 2013. The two countries have also been at odds over maritime jurisdiction and offshore resources in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the raid, which it described as “an act of violence” against Anadolu. It later said that it also summoned the Egyptian charge d’affaires over the matter.

“This act of violence against Anadolu not only shows the Egyptian leadership’s hostile stance towards the freedom of the press, but also once again shows its grave conditions on democracy and transparency,” the ministry said.

It called on Egyptian authorities to immediately release the detained Anadolu personnel.

Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun described the raid as a “hostile attempt against Anadolu employees by Egypt’s putschist leadership”, adding that Ankara called on the international community to condemn the move.

Reporting by Omar Fahmy, Amina Ismail, Ulf Laessing, Nayera Abdallah and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Dominic Evans and Hugh Lawson

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