Critical Turkish newspaper publishes blank issue in protest

AP News
Posted: May 20, 2017 1:55 PM
Critical Turkish newspaper publishes blank issue in protest

ISTANBUL (AP) — A Turkish opposition paper has published a "May 19 Press Freedom Special Edition," left blank to protest the detentions of some staff members. Saturday's edition of the Sozcu newspaper carried empty columns with writers' names and also left the weather section blank.

It was a response to Friday's detentions of Mediha Olgun, the editor of Sozcu's website, and reporter Gokmen Ulu. Detention warrants were also issued for owner Burak Akbay and head of finance Yonca Kaleli.

They are accused of committing crimes on behalf of the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. The Turkish government blames Gulen for last summer's failed coup attempt — an allegation Gulen denies.

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Sozcu is a staunch supporter of the secular legacy of Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and a sharp critic of Turkey's president and government.