Turkey’s Cumhuriyet newspaper: ‘We will not surrender’

Published November 1st, 2016 - 11:00 GMT
A protester holds a copy of Cumhuriyet newspaper during a protest in front of the opposition newspaper in Istanbul on October 31, 2016 after a police operation at the daily's headquarters. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
A protester holds a copy of Cumhuriyet newspaper during a protest in front of the opposition newspaper in Istanbul on October 31, 2016 after a police operation at the daily's headquarters. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

Turkish opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet vowed "We will not surrender" on its masthead on Tuesday, a day after at least 11 staff members and executives, including the editor-in-chief, were detained as part of alleged anti-terrorism measures.

The authorities' move against the newspaper, founded in 1924, was met with sharp criticism from press freedom advocates, while the US government said it is "deeply concerned by what appears to be an increase in official pressure on opposition media outlets in Turkey."

Turkey has shut nearly 170 media outlets in recent months and has 105 journalists in prison, according to the Turkish Journalists' Association.

Cumhuriyet, the last government-critical major newspaper left, described the detentions of its members, including prominent columnists and a cartoonist, as a "coup" against the free press.

The measures affected newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations affiliated with Gulen, but also nearly all key independent Kurdish media outlets in the country.

The government has also dismissed elected mayors in dozens of Kurdish municipalities and arrested dozens of key politicians from the minority group or opened prosecutions against them, seeking lengthy jail terms. 

The moves come amid an uptick in violence between Kurdish militants and the state, as part of a 30-year war. Last year, a peace process collapsed, and the government says it will not return to the negotiating table.

Turkey has arrested some 35,000 people since the coup and fired tens of thousands of civil servants.


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