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[UPDATE] Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief, columnist detained, detention warrant issued for Can Dündar

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Turkey’s secularist Cumhuriyet daily Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu and columnist Güray Öz were detained after police raided their residences early on Monday.

A detention warrant was also issued for former Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar.

Police raided Sabuncu and Öz’s houses along with the residence of the daily’s CEO Akın Atalay and columnist Hikmet Çetinkaya early on Monday on the order of an İstanbul court, which issued detention warrants for 13 staff members, including journalists, columnists and executives, from Cumhuriyet.

According to the pro-government Sabah daily, an İstanbul court issued detention warrants for 13 journalists from Cumhuriyet on charges of aiding the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and FETÖ.

FETÖ is a derogatory term and acronym for the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization, coined by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to refer to the Gülen movement, which Erdoğan and the AKP accuse of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15.

Sabah said 13 detention warrants were issued for 13 suspects out of 15 who were part of the investigation.

Police were also searching the houses of Cumhuriyet Foundation executives Turan Günay and Bülent Utku, Hürriyet reported.

The pro-government Yeni Şafak newspaper said on its website that they were being investigated over alleged links to Fethullah Gülen.

A detention warrant was also issued for Cumhuriyet daily CEO Atalay and former Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar, who left Turkey before July. According to Sabah, detention warrants issued for both Atalay and Dündar after they fled abroad.

Dündar was sentenced to six years in prison for publishing state secrets involving Ankara’s Syria operations. His conviction sparked protest from rights groups and Western governments worried about worsening human rights in Turkey under President Erdoğan.

Police operations targeting Cumhuriyet editors, columnists and executives come after Turkey on Saturday dismissed a further 10,000 civil servants and closed 15 more media outlets over suspected links with militant groups and Fethullah Gülen. More than 100,000 people had already been sacked or suspended and nearly 75,000 detained and 37,000 arrested since the failed coup attempt in an unprecedented crackdown that Erdoğan says is crucial for wiping out Gülen’s network from the state apparatus.

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