Turkish newspaper says faces tax inspection after journalists arrested

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2015 1:10 AM

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, whose top two journalists were arrested last week on charges of espionage and terrorist propaganda, is facing an investigation into its tax accounts, its chief executive said.

A court last Thursday ordered the arrest of Can Dundar, the paper's editor-in-chief, and senior editor Erdem Gul over the publication of footage purporting to show the state intelligence agency helping send weapons to Syria.

The case against the journalists has revived long-standing criticism of Turkey's record on press freedom under President Tayyip Erdogan with the United States saying it was "very concerned" about the arrests.

"They informed (us) that they will once again inspect Cumhuriyet newspaper's 2010 accounts, 2-1/2 years after fully inspecting them before," the newspaper's chief executive, Akin Atalay, wrote on Twitter on Monday.

The tweet was accompanied by a photocopy of an apparent corporation tax inspection report dating from mid-2013 regarding the company's 2010 accounts. Officials were not immediately available to comment.

The video footage at the heart of the court case, released in May, purported to show Turkish police opening crates of weapons and ammunition bound for Syria on the back of trucks said to belong to the MIT National Intelligence Organization.

Publication of the story at the time prompted Erdogan to vow revenge, saying those behind it endangered security and would "pay a heavy price".

(Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Macfie)