Prosecutors in Turkey have accused the editor-in-chief of a popular daily of establishing an armed terror network.
Ekrem Dumanli, who serves as editor-in-chief of the Zaman newspaper, faces charges of membership in a terrorist group. He, along with 15 other journalists and media activists, is also accused of depriving people of liberty by using force and making threats and slander. Report Presstv
Dumanli denied all charges against him during his testimony to prosecutors. He has been also accused of having links to Fethullah Gulen, a religious scholar who resides in the United States and current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan views him as his main enemy.
Turkish police arrested 28 people over the weekend as part of the broader campaign against the followers of Gullen. The move was heavily criticized with many calling it the most unprecedented attack on the freedom of speech in the country.
European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and a number of other European leaders have lamented Turkey’s raid on journalists and media people and said the arrests went against European values. Erdogan hit back at the criticism hours later by asking the EU to “mind its own business.”
For years, Turkey has made its utmost to join the European Union. The bid, however, has been stalled due to various reasons including the EU’s ongoing criticism of Turkey’s record in human rights and restriction of freedom of speech.