Police detained Cumhuriyet Foundation Executive Board President Akın Atalay on Nov. 11 at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport after he landed from Germany, as a part of the investigation into columnists and executives at Turkish daily Cumhuriyet.
The detention warrant issued by the Istanbul 4th criminal court of peace accuses Atalay of “conducting activities in the name of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), despite not being a member of either.”
Atalay was in Berlin at the time when nine from Cumhuriyet were arrested in the “terrorism” investigation targeting the daily following a police operation last week.
He told reporters at the airport that he thought the police operation targeting the daily was aimed at appointing a government-approved trustee to manage it, rather than targeting individual personalities.
Bahri Belen, one of Cumhuriyet’s lawyers, called the operation “political and unlawful” and said the court would likely order Atalay’s arrest.
After his detention, Atalay was transferred to the Istanbul police headquarters for questioning.