Hürriyet daily reporter Arda Akın, who was detained on July 29 in an operation against 42 journalists over alleged links to the failed military coup of July 15, was released on Friday after 24 days in detention.
Akın was first detained on July 20 along with several journalists — including 72-year-old veteran journalist Nazlı Ilıcak – after Deputy Chief Prosecutor İrfan Fidan of the İstanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office’s Terrorism and Organized Crime Bureau demanded detention warrants for 42 journalists on suspicion of membership in the so-called Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which is used by the government-backed judiciary to frame sympathizers of the Gülen movement. He was later released pending trial but was detained again on July 29 after Fidan objected to his release.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government accuse US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, the inspiration for the Gülen movement, of masterminding the coup attempt despite the fact that Gülen has repeatedly denied the accusations.
A group of renegade soldiers, acting outside the chain of command, attempted a military coup at around 10 p.m. on July 15 that left more than 200 people – including civilians – dead.
The Turkish government managed to suppress the coup attempt and launched a large-scale crackdown across the country on media, public servants, judges, prosecutors and teachers, along with rebels within the army. The detentions, arrests and massive purges that followed the crackdown expanded and increased after a state of emergency was declared on July 20, concentrating power formally in the hands of Erdoğan.