Turkish police raided the offices of Turkish daily ‘Zaman’ on Sunday morning, while at the same time, detaining broadcasters from an affiliated television station and a former anti-terrorism chief, Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’ reports.
The raid on ‘Zaman’ took place early this morning while supporter of the newspaper stood watch in front of the building having been alerted about the raid.
Samanyolu Media Group Head Hidayet Karaca and a producer, scriptwriter and director were also detained, according to reports.
Zaman and Samanyolu are known to have links with US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, a former ally but now an enemy of President Erdogan.
Tufan Ergüder, the former head of the Istanbul Police Department’s anti-terror branch and the former head of the Hakkari Police Department, was also detained in the December 14th operation.
Onlookers chanted “the free press cannot be silenced”, while the raid was in progress.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu described the move as a “coup.”
“The current process is not something faced in healthy democracies. This is a coup process,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. “Detentions of journalists and raids on television stations in the early morning are not something we can accept in any circumstances.”
Numan Kurtulmuş, the deputy leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), declined to comment, simply saying they were “observing the process.”