November 1, 2016– On Monday, the Turkish police raided the headquarters of the secular opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet and detained editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu along with 12 other journalists. The journalists were charged with publishing stories to “legitimize the coup d’etat” of July 15. The Alliance for Shared Values condemns the crackdown on Cumhuriyet newspaper, which is just the latest example of the Recep Tayyip Erdogan government’s efforts to suppress freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
The Cumhuriyet raid is part of an ongoing purge against the Turkish people in the wake of the July 15 coup attempt. The government has targeted any and all critics and subjected them to mass arrests across the country. Although sympathizers of the Hizmet movement are the focus of these arrests, President Erdogan has targeted members of various other groups who are not loyal to him.
Cumhuriyet is one of the few remaining opposition voices in the Turkish media. All opposition voices are being silenced by force or by fear, and Turkey has now become one of the top jailers of journalists in the world. We urge the Turkish government to release the detained journalists and to end its abuse of state-of-emergency powers.
About Alliance for Shared Values
The Alliance for Shared Values (AFSV) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves as a voice for dialogue organizations affiliated with Hizmet, a civil society movement inspired by prominent preacher and peace advocate Fethullah Gülen. Based in New York, the Alliance strives to promote peace and to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against any or all ethnic, cultural and religious communities. To learn more about the Alliance please visit www.afsv.org.
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