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Journalists arrested, laptops seized as police raid Cumhuriyet newspaper

A man holds the latest copy of Cumhuriyet outside its headquarters after Turkish police detained the chief editor and at least eight senior staff of Turkey's opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper in Istanbul, 31 October 2016
A man holds the latest copy of Cumhuriyet outside its headquarters after Turkish police detained the chief editor and at least eight senior staff of Turkey's opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper in Istanbul, 31 October 2016

AP Photo/Emrah Gurel

This statement was originally published on bianet.org on 31 October 2016.

Click here to read the article in Turkish / Kurdish

Police have raided the houses of Cumhuriyet Daily Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, President of the Executive Board Akın Atalay and Cumuhuriyet Foundation Executive Board member and writer Güray Öz.

The raids were conducted at around 4 a.m. this morning (October 31). Murat Sabuncu was taken into custody in his house in İstanbul, and Güray Öz in his house in Ankara. Columnist Aydın Engin has also been taken into custody.

The houses of columnist Hikmet Çetinkaya and columnist-illustrator Musa Kart have been searched.

There is no police in the Cumhuriyet Daily's building at the moment.

Charges of conducting crimes on behalf of PKK/KCK, FETÖ/PYD

According to the information provided by Cumhuriyet Daily correspondent Canan Coşkun, the İstanbul Chief Prosecutor's office stated that "an investigation was launched on certain suspects [...] on grounds of claims and discoveries made that some executives of the Cumhuriyet Foundation had been sponsoring the PKK/KCK (Kurdistan Workers' Party/Kurdistan Communities Union), FETÖ/PYD (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Organization) and they had been producing articles justifying the coup shortly before the coup attempt on July 15".

Custody orders, arrest warrants*

According to the latest information acquired from Cumhuriyet daily, the names of those for whom custody orders have been issued are:

Cumhuriyet Foundation Executive Board member and financial advisor Eser Sevinç, columnist Hakan Kara, columnist Hikmet Çetinkkaya, cartoonist Güray Öz, Cumhuriyet Foundation Executive Board member and attorney Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Cumhuriyet Foundation Executive Board member Önder Çelik, Cumhuriyet Daily Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, Cumhuriyet Foundation Executive Board member Bülent Yener, Cumhuriyet Book Supplement Editor-in-Chief Turhan Günay and columnist Aydın Engin.

Those, against whom custody order has been issued but are currently abroad are Cumhuriyet Foundation Executive Board President and attorney Akın Atalay and Nebil Özgentürk.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Can Dündar, but he is also abroad at the moment.

Cumhuriyet Foundation Executive Board President Orhan Erinç's house has been searched, but Erinç was reportedly not taken into custody due to his advanced age.

The computers and laptops in the houses of Turhan Günay and Hakan Kara have been seized and brought to the Security Directorate.

Custody orders have also been issued for Cumhuriyet Daily advisor and columnist Kadri Gürsel as well as the daily's accounting manager Günseli Özaltay. Police is currently searching Gürsel's apartment.

*The concerned parties of the custody orders and arrest warrants are being updated.

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