Four people, including former staff of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) mouthpiece media outlet, Zaman, blamed for last year's putsch attempt, were arrested yesterday in an investigation into the said media outlet.
Nuh Gönültaş and Mehmet Gündem, journalists for the now-defunct Zaman newspaper, and Behram Kılıç, who worked at Aksiyon magazine, which is linked to the terrorist group, were among the 45 detained last week. Prosecutors had issued detention warrants for 111 people in the probe against the Journalists and Writers Foundation. The now-defunct foundation, whose honorary president is FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen, is known for its strong opposition to Turkey's counterterrorism efforts targeting the group.
Authorities released other suspects in the case, while six suspects were released with judicial control.
FETÖ is accused of orchestrating multiple coup attempts in Turkey, and its members face terrorism charges. After two failed attempts in 2013, the group's members tried to seize power through its infiltrators in the military on July 15, 2016. Some 249 people were injured and hundreds were wounded resisting the coup attempt that ultimately failed.
Prosecutors claim that the group's infiltrators in law enforcement, the judiciary, the bureaucracy and the military had waged a long-running campaign to topple the government.
Several former staff members of FETÖ-linked media outlets are already in jail, and their trials, in which they face prison terms for membership in the group, are underway.
The terrorist group, which is facing a new barrage of trials after the July 15 coup attempt, is accused of running media outlets to vindicate its actions and orchestrating defamation campaigns against the group's critics. It once wielded considerable clout in the media where it ran a broadcaster. The group owned several TV stations and radio stations and published newspapers and magazines that disseminated the group's propaganda. Most were closed down as part of the crackdown on FETÖ and were handed to trustees as the legal process against FETÖ members got underway. The media was key for Fetullah Gülen, the U.S.-based leader of the terrorist group, to spread his messages to his followers. Gülen, who faces extradition from the U.S., is already implicated in a string of criminal cases from the coup attempt and sham trials against his critics.
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