In Push Against Muslim Cleric, Turkey Detains Police Officers and Journalists

Supporters swarmed Ekrem Dumanli, the editor in chief of the newspaper Zaman, as he was taken into custody on Sunday. Credit Erdem Sahin/European Pressphoto Agency

ISTANBUL — The Turkish police detained at least 24 police officers, journalists and media workers in raids on Sunday morning, days after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled a new campaign against supporters of an influential Muslim cleric whom he has accused of attempting to overthrow his government.

Eight other people were on a list of suspects accused of “using pressure, intimidation, threats,” a “smear campaign” and “fabrication of evidence” to claim the power of state as members of an illegal organization, the semiofficial press agency Anadolu reported. Mr. Erdogan has said that the organization’s members are part of a parallel structure within the state that is intended by the cleric, Fethullah Gulen, to oust him from power.

Some members of the news media were also charged with “fabricating charges and evidence” in their productions to support a 2009 investigation, eventually dropped by prosecutors, that accused a group of people of being radical Islamists, the report said.

Mr. Gulen lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania and is believed to have many followers and sympathizers in important positions in the Turkish police and judiciary.

On Sunday, the producer and director of a television show were detained in Eskisehir, in northwestern Turkey, and the scriptwriter of another series was taken into custody in Van, an eastern province, according to Anadolu. All three work for Samanyolu Broadcasting Group, which is affiliated with Mr. Gulen…

Erdogan is paranoid. He is determined to get rid of Gulen, although they are both Islamists, both Sunnis. It is some kind of personal thing as best as I can tell.

  • ntt1

    Van is where a particular breed of blue-grey short hair cats are bred, they are remarkable in that they are water loving. apart from that its just more turks.

    • Frau Katze

      Erdogan is not going to let this one drop. He’s determined to destroy his opponent (perhaps he does deserve it, I have heard dodgy things about his schools in the US. But he seems he promoting the same Islamic agenda).

      • ntt1

        Erdogan is starting to act “mercurial” which is just a polite way to say bat shit crazy. the up side is his histrionics are likely to self defeat when it comes to common market membership.

    • Frau Katze

      There used to be a lot of Armenians there, before 1915.

      • ntt1

        a sad time that has never got historical recognition. the armenian genocide was a true horror

  • Hard Little Machine

    Erdogan might be crazy but he’s crazy in a way that works for him. As Turkey descends into authoritarian fascism he will bully the EU into letting him do whatever he likes, such as joining the Schengen Area or joining the EU. He’s learned that the only way to get cooperation from the EU is to browbeat the Europeans. They respect and fear and sort of appreciate a dictator because it makes them feel better about their perceived ‘tolerance’ and ‘democracy’ even more. If I were Erdogan I’d send the army to invade all of the rest of Cyprus, take it over and appropriate all of the Cypriot-Israeli offshore gas fields. There is not a single thing the EU would do to come to the aid of one of their member states that’s so small and so far away and tainted with a association with the Jews. Not a thing. It wouldn’t shock me if Turkey decided to pull a Putin and invade Thracian Greece.