Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.18
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
The Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office has demanded to arrest the editor-in-chief of Turkish 'Zaman' newspaper Ekrem Dumanli, as well as 16 other people, whose names have not been disclosed, TRT Haber TV channel reported on Dec.18.
Alongside with Dumanli, several employees of 'Zaman' newspaper and Samanyolu TV were detained by Turkish police on Dec.14 on suspicion of spreading inadequate information in media, distortion of sources while preparing articles, and of having ties with the supporters of Fethullah Gulen.
Fethullah Gulen [Islamic public figure currently residing in the US] is the founder of the Hizmet public movement, as well as, the Turkish Journalists and Writers Foundation. He has been accused of being involved in a huge wiretapping scandal by the Turkish government.
The wiretapping scandal occurred in Turkey when Turkish media reported on Feb. 25 that in 2011 telephone conversations of about 7,000 people associated with the representatives of both the ruling and opposition parties, including family members of the prime minister were wiretapped, as part of the anti-terrorist operation carried out by the Istanbul prosecutor's office against 'Salam' terrorist organization.
During the anti-terrorist operations, telephone conversations of the head Turkish intelligence, Hakan Fidan were wiretapped as well. Turkish then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Gulen of standing behind the wiretapping of the phone conversations. Erdogan also stressed that Gulen's movement (which he earlier called as a 'parallel structure') with its anti-state activities proved that it is not a religious movement, but a politicized and illegal structure.
He called on Fethullah Gulen not to intervene in Turkey's internal affairs and accused the US of supporting him. A criminal case has been initiated in Turkey against Gulen for his coup attempt and espionage against the country.
Erdogan also previously said that Gulen will be extradited from the US. However, the US authorities said that his extradition is inadmissible.
Edited by SI
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu