Sakarya Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 36 people who attended local protests against detainment of journalists Ekrem Dumanlı and Hidayet Karaca in 2014, as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.
According to an article Turkish TV channel CnnTurk, police have managed to detain 13 of them so far while the remaining 23 are still being searched.
In a written statement on Thursday, the public prosecutor Mustafa Ercan said his office came up with the list of 56 suspects from among some 1,500 people who attended the protests in Sakarya’s Adapazarı district back on Dec. 16, 2014.
With 20 of such suspects already under arrest as part of a seperate investigation into the movement, 36 had detention warrants issued against him, Ercan said.
Sakarya police detained 13 of them and continue searches for 23 other suspects, Ercan maintained.
Suspects are accused of participating in what the prosecutor calls “illegal protest,” blocking traffic and disturbing public order.
Turkey is no strange to imprisonment of people for just attending such protests. An Edirne judge ruled on arrest of four people who attended similar protests in the northwestern Turkish province, on Oct. 25.
Turkish government detained Ekrem Dumanlı, former editor in-chief-of the now-closed-down Zaman daily and of Hidayet Karaca, former CEO of another government-shut-down media outlet, Samanyolu TV channel, on terrorism charges as part of its ever-widening pressure against the Gülen movement on Dec. 14, 2014. While the former was later released pending trial, Karaca has been under arrest since then.
Subscribers of both outlets protested detentions in peaceful demonstrations and via press statements across the country.
The government accuses the movement of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt, attempting to overthrow the government via corruption probes in 2013, helping Moody’s downgrade Turkey’s sovereign credit rating, downing of Russian warplane and causing a breakdown in peace process with Kurdish minority and of many other similar wrongdoings.
The movement denies allegations.