After the failed coup against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan late last month, which at this point seems to have been set up by Erdogan in order to justify ultimate power and squashing of dissent, 130 media organizations were shut down. At this point, 32,000 people deemed by the government as anti-Erdogan activists have been arrested and detained.
Now, a witch-hunt in the country is underway as Erdogan's government takes family members of journalists hostage and demands journalists turn themselves in. Journalist Mahir Zeynalov has been bringing much needed international attention to the issue at great risk to himself.
Turkish court ruled to arrest journalist @sosyalmunzevi, my longtime newsroom colleague, pending trial.— Mahir Zeynalov (@MahirZeynalov) August 11, 2016
Twitter is now withholding accounts of Turkish journalists even without a court order. The number of blocked accounts is mind-boggling.— Mahir Zeynalov (@MahirZeynalov) August 11, 2016
Before leaving Turkey, journalists must ask permission from the state press body. Obviously, critical journalists won't be allowed to leave.— Mahir Zeynalov (@MahirZeynalov) August 11, 2016
They jail us, deport us, shut down our newspapers and TV channels; but we reporters are still terrorists for them. https://t.co/BTxRQJHa5a— Mahir Zeynalov (@MahirZeynalov) August 11, 2016
Brother of journalist @bkenes, a physics teacher for 20 years, was detained as part of a govt strategy to put pressure on family members.— Mahir Zeynalov (@MahirZeynalov) August 10, 2016
It is unclear what Erdogan plans to do with the tens-of-thousands of people who have been detained, but his calls to "hunt down" the "viruses" of dissent are highly alarming.
Erdogan calls on people to hunt down "viruses" from the Gulen community.https://t.co/2z36T4DApm— Mahir Zeynalov (@MahirZeynalov) August 11, 2016
Turkey's standing in NATO in light of Erdogan's purging of dissent is quickly becoming questioned.