7 of those detained in the operation of the Istanbul Police against the ‘parallel state structure’ have been released, 23 remain in custody. The EU and the US criticized the operation, while PM Davutoğlu made his first statement on the raids.
Hidayet Karaca, the head of the Samanyolu Media Group
27 people are still in custody at the Istanbul Police Headquarters following the continuing raids that began on 8 AM Sunday.
The Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a statement regarding the police operation against the Gülen Community. The statement said the operation had been carried out “against journalists and security force members who had produced false evidence in order to carry out an investigation against the 'Tahşiye' group, alleging it was a criminal organization”. The investigation against the Tahşiye group, known as an opponent of the Gülen Movement, took place in 2009, when the relationship between the ruling AKP and the Gülen Movement was close.
Davutoğlu: They infiltrated state institutions
Prime Minister Davutoğlu also made a statement, saying, “When today an operation is carried out against the parallel gang, it is not them, but Kılıçdaroğlu, [Leader of the CHP; the main opposition party] that rushes to criticize it. Why are those who once said ‘Everything must be revealed’ in such a state of panic now? Why are they trying to prevent an investigation based on certain suspicions? May those who infiltrated state institutions, listened in on the most secret meetings of the state, attempted operations against the National Intelligence Services, and stopped trucks carrying aid to Syria, never think their actions will go unpunished.”
EU: We are very concerned
The EU condemned the raids in a strongly worded statement. European Commission Spokesperson Maja Kocijancic said “We are very concerned about reports reaching us from Turkey about detained journalists and media representatives.” This concern was followed by a very strong statement by Alexander Lambsdorff, the vice president of the EP, who said that the detentions showed that the AKP had “beyond reasonable suspicion” given up its ambitions to join the EU, and added, ““Turkey will be either be a democratic country with an open society and free media or it will squander its future as an oppressive middle income country that will continue to lose its best and brightest to Europe and the United States just as it has under military dictatorship. Today's events seem to indicate that the government's choice is for oppression.”
The US State Department also issued a statement which raid “We are closely following reports that Turkish police have conducted a series of raids and arrests at locations across Turkey today. It appears that media outlets that have been openly critical of the current Turkish government are among the targets of these actions by Turkish law enforcement. Media freedom, due process, and judicial independence are key elements in every healthy democracy and are enshrined in the Turkish constitution.”
Among those who are detained are Hidayet Karaca, the head of the Samanyolu Media Group, Ekrem Dumanlı, editor-in-chief of Zaman newspaper, the producers and scriptwriters of the TV Series 'Sungurlar' and 'Tek Türkiye' [lit. ‘The one and single Turkey’] broadcast on the Samanyolu TV channel, and Tufan Ergüder, the former Istanbul Anti-Terror Branch Chief.
‘fuatavni’ proves right again
The secretive twitter account 'fuatavni', who has over 600 thousand followers, and has repeatedly reported the plans and operations of the government in advance via the account, claiming to be a member of the President’s inner circle, had already provided details about a planned operation against the media. fuatavni had claimed that around 150 journalists would be detained, and that media outlets close to the US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen would be targeted.