More journalists arrested over coup attempt of Muslim president

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TURKEY — A Turkish court ordered the arrest of two journalists on Friday for their alleged connection to a 2016 military coup.

The arrests follow warrants issued last week by Turkish authorities for the arrest of the owner and three staff members of the Sozcu newspaper.   Authorities claim the newspaper, which is openly critical of the Turkish government, played a roll in spreading information that led to the uprising, and further claims the paper was aligned with a U.S.-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who is opposed to the policies of Turkey’s president, Tayyip Erdogan.

The Turkish government has aggressively hunted down people who were involved in the attempted coup.  To date, 50,000 arrests have been made in the ongoing crackdown.

According to reports, the two arrested journalists are Mediha Olgun, Sozcu’s internet editor, and Gokmen Ulu, a correspondent for the Aegean province of Izmir. Both face multiple charges including “knowingly aiding and abetting the FETO terrorist organization without being part of its hierarchical structure,” and “aiding the assassination attempt of the president.”  NOTE: Fethullah Gulen’s social movement is referred to as FETO, and is classified by Turkish officials as a terrorist organization.

Since the time in which the attempted coup took place, the Turkish government has to seen to it that more than 130 media organizations have been shut down and 150 journalists have been arrested, according to reports.

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