Turkish police briefly detained four journalists from the Turkish operation of Russia’s Sputnik news agency including its editor-in-chief, according to Sputnik.
Editor-in-chief Mahir Boztepe, who was detained as part of an investigation overseen by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday, was released after he was questioned at the İstanbul Police Station.
The houses of the three other journalists from Sputnik were reportedly attacked by unknown parties in Ankara on Saturday night, after which the journalists went to the Ankara police to file complaints, but they were instead detained. The journalists were released after questioning.
The journalists’ detention came shortly after the publication of a controversial article in the English edition of Sputnik, titled “The ‘Stolen Province’: Why Turkey Was Given A Corner Of Syria By France 80 Years Ago.”
The article claimed that the southern Turkish province of Hatay, which has a border with Syria, actually belonged to Syria but was given to Turkey in 1939 following a disputed referendum.
The article was published just after the death of 36 Turkish soldiers in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib in an airstrike on Thursday by Syrian regime forces backed by Russia.
Turkish journalism organizations criticized the detention of Sputnik’s journalists, saying journalists should not made to pay the cost of the tension between the countries.