AKP government cancels 115 more press cards

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A journalist shows his hands and press card covered in blood during a police raid on the İpek Media Group.

Turkish authorities have cancelled the permanent press cards of 115 journalists for their alleged links to the Gülen movement, the state run Anadolu news agency reported.

According to a statement by the General Directorate of Press and Information, Nazlı Ilıcak, Ergun Babahan, Alaeddin Kaya, Mustafa Ünal, Şirin Kabakçı, Abdullah Aymaz, Celal Azmi Kalyoncu and Ömer Şahin were among the 115 journalists whose press credentials were revoked.

The number of cancelled press cards has now reached 620.

Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has speeded up a media crackdown following a July 15 foiled coup attempt. The government has closed down more than 130 media organizations, including three news agencies, 16 TV stations, 23 radio stations, 46 newspapers, 15 magazines and 29 publishers since July 15.

Detention warrants were issued for 35 journalists on Aug. 30 for allegedly promoting the Gülen movement in the media and in social media.

The P24 website says as many as 109 journalists are already behind bars in Turkey.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others on July 15. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement and launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Thousands of people have been purged from state bodies, over 41,000 detained and more than 22,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees included journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.

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