Turkish police arrest editors, seize magazine day after elections

2015-11-02 21:07
 (Ozan Kose, AFP)

(Ozan Kose, AFP)

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Istanbul - Two top editors of a magazine critical of the Turkish government were arrested on Monday and its latest issue seized, a day after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) won parliamentary elections, the Nokta newspaper said.

The headline on the cover of its confiscated issues said, "Monday, November 2, Start of the Turkish Civil War." It appeared over a photo of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, founder of the AKP.

Nokta, a weekly magazine reporting a circulation of 10 000, was also the subject of a police raid in September after it published a photo montage of Erdogan that showed him laughing as he took a selfie in front of a coffin containing the remains of a slain Turkish soldier.

Police on Wednesday also raided the offices of a media group seen as critical of Erdogan and took two television news channels off the air.

Critics have repeatedly accused the president and the government of eroding press freedom. Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet, a newspaper critical of the government, warned about an AKP election victory on Sunday, saying, "we have to brace ourselves for a period of heightened repression."

Observers of the elections complained about restrictions on media freedom.

"The rapidly diminishing choice of media outlets and restrictions on freedom of expression in general impacted the process and remain serious concerns," said Ignacio Sanchez Amor, head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe observer mission.

Reporters Without Borders, a media freedom group, ranked Turkey 149th on press freedom on its list of 180 countries.

Read more on:    turkey  |  media

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