Egyptian police on Tuesday evening raided the Cairo office of Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency and detained four employees, according to the agency.
The detainees, one of them a Turkish citizen, were taken to an unknown location, the reports said.
Turkey’s foreign ministry released a statement on Wednesday condemning the raid and urging the immediate release of the four employees.
The ministry described the raid as “an act of harassment and intimidation against the Turkish press.”
“This act carried out against AA [Anadolu news agency] reveals once again not only the negative approach of the Egyptian administration towards freedom of press, but also its grave situation in terms of democracy and transparency,” the statement read.
“Western countries, which seem to be sensitive on such issues as media and freedom of expression, have a share in this reckless attitude as they overlook these violations by Egypt.”
Relations between the two countries, which have been tense since the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, have recently hit a new low after Ankara became involved in the long-running civil war in Libya.
A few days ago, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry accused Turkey of supporting extremists in the conflict.
Egypt was ranked 163rd out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) 2019 World Press Freedom index, whereas Turkey was ranked 157th.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, both appear on RSF’s list of “predators of press freedom.”