Friday, November 27, 2015

AFP — Turkish journalists charged over claim that secret services armed Syrian rebels

"Our guys" in Turkey. Looks like they are following the example of the US.
A court in Istanbul has charged two journalists from the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper with spying after they alleged Turkey’s secret services had sent arms to Islamist rebels in Syria.
Can Dundar, the editor-in-chief, and Erdem Gul, the paper’s Ankara bureau chief, are accused of spying and “divulging state secrets”, Turkish media reported. Both men were placed in pre-trial detention.
According to Cumhuriyet, Turkish security forces in January 2014 intercepted a convoy of trucks near the Syrian border and discovered boxes of what the daily described as weapons and ammunition to be sent to rebels fighting against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
It linked the seized trucks to the Turkish national intelligence organisation (MIT).The revelations, published in May, caused a political storm in Turkey, and enraged president Recep Tayyip Erdogan who vowed Dundar would pay a “heavy price”.He personally filed a criminal complaint against Dundar, 54, demanding he serve multiple life sentences.
Turkey has vehemently denied aiding Islamist rebels in Syria, such as the Islamic State group, although it wants to see Assad toppled....
The Cumhuriyet daily was awarded the media watchdog’s 2015 Press Freedom Prize just last week, with Dundar travelling to Strasbourg to receive the award.
“If these two journalists are imprisoned, it will be additional evidence that the Turkish authorities are ready to use methods worthy of a bygone age in order to suppress independent journalism in Turkey,” said RSF secretary general Christophe Deloire in a statement.
Magazine editors accused of coup plot and Gülenists detained in wake of Justice and Development party’s resounding electoral victory
Turkey: journalists and political rivals arrested as Erdoğan crackdown widens (Nov 3)
Kareem Shaheen

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