Ünal Tanık, owner and editor-in-chief of the Rota Haber news portal, which is among the dozens of media outlets closed down by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, was arrested on Wednesday after he was detained in Yalova the day before.
Judge Selami Yılmaz made the arrest verdict in İstanbul’s 11th Penal Court of Peace over Gülen movement charges.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Despite Gülen and the movement having denied the accusation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Turkey’s unprecedented witch-hunt had resulted in the imprisonment of 41,752 people as of Dec. 30, according to the tally of turkeypurge.com, while 135,356 people have been removed from public sector jobs since July 15.
Meanwhile, the number of arrested journalists and media personnel rose to 152 with the Tanık’s arrest.
This article originally appeared in Turkish Minute on Jan 18.