Turkey Detains More Journalists in Coup Round-up

Turkish authorities detained journalists, a politician and a pollster on Wednesday and issued arrest warrants for another 105 people over suspected links to a U.S.-based Islamic cleric blamed for a failed coup on July 15

ISTANBUL, Aug 30  – Turkish authorities detained an editor at the prominent Hurriyet newspaper in the latest round-up of journalists and others accused of links to last month’s failed coup, Hurriyet’s English-language publication said on Tuesday.

It said Dincer Gokce, a Hurriyet editor, was detained with nine others after the Istanbul prosecutor issued detention warrants for 35 people in a probe into backers of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey says masterminded the putsch.

Gulen has denied involvement and condemned the rebellion on July 15, during which a group of soldiers commandeered tanks and jets to attack government buildings but were stopped by a groundswell of opposition from civilians and loyalist forces.

Hurriyet, one of Turkey’s top-selling newspapers that has taken an increasingly pro-government stance, said several of the 35 warrants were for journalists, but did not say how many. At least 18 of those listed were abroad, it added.

There was no immediate comment from the prosecutor’s office.

In a crackdown on suspected Gulen followers since the coup attempt, the authorities have detained more than 40,000 people and formally arrested about half of them. Some 80,000 people in the judiciary, police, civil service and elsewhere have been sacked or suspended.

Turkey has also closed more than 130 media outlets and arrested more than 60 journalists since a state of emergency was declared after July 15, according to the Brussels-based European Federation of Journalists.

President Tayyip Erdogan has demanded Gulen’s swift extradition, saying he was the mastermind of the attempted coup by rogue soldiers that killed 241 people, mainly loyalist members of the security forces and civilians. An estimated 100 coup plotters were also called.

U.S. lawyers say any extradition process could take years.

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