An Edirne judge ruled on arrest of four 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, on Tuesday.
A total of 7 people were detained in Edirne province for their attendance in local protests held in late 2014 against detainment of 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 Oct. 24. While one of them were set free immediately after his/her interrogation, two were released pending trial and four were put behind bars on Oct. 27, according to Doğan News Agency.
Turkish government detained Dumanlı and Karaca 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. A group of people also gathered in front of Edirne courthouse in protest of the government’s media crackdown five days after the journalists’ detainment.
Edirne Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 12 people for attending the protests While seven of them were detained on Oct. 24, remaining five couldn’t be reached at their registered addresses.
On Tuesday, four suspects were arrested on accusation that they were members of FETÖ [short for Fethullah Terrorist Organization], a derogatory term Turkish government coined to label the Gülen movement as terrorist.
Four people included M.E., the manager of a movement affiliated preparatory school; H.Y., a small business owner and S.U., the representative of Zaman newspaper in Edirne’s Uzunköprü district.
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.