Turkish online editor-in-chief Oguz Guven arrested

Screengrab from YouTube video showing Cumhuriyet's Oguz Guven.
Screengrab from YouTube video showing Cumhuriyet's Oguz Guven.

ISTANBUL, May 16 — A Turkish court yesterday ordered the formal arrest on terror-related charges of the editor-in-chief for the online edition of opposition daily Cumhuriyet, state media reported.

Oguz Guven, who was detained on Friday by police in Istanbul, is accused of “spreading propaganda for a terror organisation,” the official Anadolu news agency reported.

Guven has been formally arrested over a news story about the death in a traffic accident last week of senior Turkish prosecutor Mustafa Alper who had been a leading figure in the prosecutions of suspects detained over last year’s failed coup.

Turkey blames the coup attempt on US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has denied the charges.

Anadolu said Guven’s arrest was part of an investigation into a campaign including on social media to discredit those fighting against Gulen and his followers.

A leading critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Cumhuriyet has seen dozens of its staff members charged under the state of emergency imposed after the failed coup.

Most are in jail, including the paper’s current editor in chief Murat Sabuncu, veteran commentator Kadri Gursel and cartoonist Musa Kart.

They are accused of membership of a banned “terror group” and aiding outlawed organisations, charges which supporters have denounced as ridiculous.

Cumhuriyet’s former editor-in-chief, Can Dundar, was last year handed a five-year-and-10-month jail term and has now fled Turkey for Germany over a front-page story accusing the government of sending weapons to Syria. — AFP

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