Kılıçdaroğlu says operation against Sözcü is an operation against Turkey

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Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of Turkey's main opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP) / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has lashed out the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government for an operation against leading opposition newspaper Sözcü that became public on Friday.

The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for the owner of Sözcü as well as three of its employees over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, according to Turkish media reports on Friday.

Sözcü owner Burak Akbay and reporter Gökmen Ulu as well as executives Melda Olgun and Yonca Kaleli are accused of spreading propaganda on behalf of the Gülen movement.

“We are faced with a dictatorial administration. The operation against Sözcü is an operation against Turkey,” Kılıçdaroğlu said as quoted by CHP deputy Mahmut Tanal.

The Turkish government has already jailed more than 230 journalists and closed down over 150 media outlets in the aftermath of the coup attempt.

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