Counterterrorism police invite journalist Hasan Cemal to testify

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Hasan Cemal

The counterterrorism unit of the Istanbul Police Department summoned prominent journalist Hasan Cemal to give testimony on Monday.

“The police counterterrorism unit called me while I was writing my column. They told me they had received an urgent warrant from a prosecutor. They have to take my testimony. I asked about the details of the warrant, but they said it was confidential. I asked If I could go to the police after Eid al Adha, and they said it would be a problem. I said I could go with my lawyers on Wednesday; they said they are waiting for us at 10 a.m.,” Cemal wrote in an article published Monday on the T24 news website.

“Turkey will be this kind of country from now on. You might always face this kind of phone call, court, detention and arrest. Every day different voices, opposing voices, critical voices are silenced,” added Cemal in his column, where he has covered recent freedoms, democracy and rule of law violations in Turkey.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s media crackdown has turned out to be an all-out war against critical media following a failed coup attempt on July 15.

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 have been issued for about 150 journalists. The P24 website says the number of journalists behind bars in Turkey has risen to 115 with the most recent arrests.

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