Pro-gov’t Twitter user claims dissident journalists to be detained, gives list of names

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A pro-government Twitter user named Başkentçi announced a list of dissident journalist allegedly to be detained soon as part of what is widely seen as an ongoing government crackdown against free media in Turkey.  

The list shared by the account on Sunday includes columnists from Yeni Hayat, Yarına Bakış, Özgür Düşünce and Meydan, which are among few remaining independent dailies in Turkey.

The journalists named in the list are Can Dündar, Hayko Bağdat, Oğuz Karamuk, Dilek Hayırlı, Yusuf Bülbül, Ayşe Altunköprü, İsa Şimşek, Burak Kılıç, Perihan Mağden, Gökhan Özgün, Cevheri Güven, Başak Çokan, Ergun Babahan, Murat Aksoy, Mahmut Akpınar, Hamdi Alkan, Dr. Fevzi Özgönül, Oğuz Karamuk, Yılmaz Odabaşı, Sevil Yavuz, Hacer Özkaya, Cem Güler, Abdullah Kılıç, Mehmet Bulut, Değer Özergün, Cuma Ulus, Ahmet Çakır, Mustafa Ünal, Turgay Oğur, Aslıhan Erkişi, Atilla Taş, Arif Erdem, Cafer Solgun, Cemil Tokpınar, İhsan Yılmaz, Hilmi Yavuz, Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Mehmet Kamış, Levent Köker, Abdullah Aymaz, Melih Arat, Selim Işıklar, Kerim Balcı, Can Bahadır Yüce, Ali Ünal, Hakan Şükür, Mehmet Özdemir, Ali Bulaç, Atilla Dorsay, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Mehmet Çetingüleç, Nurullah Öztürk, Oktay Usta, Ahmet Kurucan, Süleyman Sargın, Yavuz Baydar, Tarık Toros, Kemal Cengiz, İbrahim Öztürk, Sadettin Orhan, Ali Demirel, Behram Kılıç, Mustafa Ünal , Abdülhamit Bilici, Nuh Gönültaş, Ali Ünal,Faruk Mercan, Mehmet Kamış, Nazlı Ilıcak, Mehmet Altan, Erhan Başyurt and Eser Karakaş.

The claim came immediately after detention orders were issued for more than 2000 high judiciary members as part of an investigation into the recent failed coup attempt in Turkey.

A number of intellectuals both in Turkey and abroad hold forth that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan uses the coup attempt as an excuse to conduct massive purges in important government bodies, including the judiciary and the military, and fill the vacant positions with his loyalists.

Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım have accused the Gülen movement of being behind the military coup, in which a group of army personnel conducted air strikes over the Parliament and the presidential palace early Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, reports say that the Gülen movement does not seem to have such a massive influence over the Turkish military, which is known for its Kemalist roots that is against the Gülen movement. The rebel soldiers who attempted to stage a coup named themselves as “Council of Peace At Home,” in a declaration they forcibly had delivered by the state-run broadcaster TRT on Friday night. “Peace at home, peace in the world” is a famous saying by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey.

The Gülen movement is a grassroots social initiative inspired by Scholar Fethullah Gülen and carries out charitable activities all around the world, including education, distributing humanitarian aid and providing drinking water especially in African countries.

Since a massive corruption scandal that implicated then-ministers of the Cabinet erupted on Dec. 17, 2013, Erdoğan and the AK Party government claimed that the graft investigation was a “coup attempt” against his government and accused the Gülen movement of being behind it. The sons of ministers, well-known business people, a district mayor, a director of a state-owned bank, and many high-profile figures, who were arrested as part of the investigation, were released and the prosecutors who initiated the case were later imprisoned as a result of political interference. However, four Cabinet ministers were forced to resign.

The major graft case was closed by other prosecutors who replaced them, with all the charges against politicians and business people being dropped. A parliamentary investigation against the four ministers was also dropped with AK Party votes. The graft probe had implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, members of his family and senior Justice and Development Party (AK Party) figures.

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