ISTANBUL: Turkish police detained two opposition journalists as part of an investigation into “political and military espionage”, the official Anadolu news agency reported on Monday.
Details of the detentions were not immediately clear, but other media reported they may be linked to reporting about Turkey’s involvement in conflicts in Libya and Syria.
Ismail Dukel from Tele1 TV Ankara and Muyesser Yildiz, news coordinator at OdaTV online news site, were taken into custody on Monday and are being questioned by the anti-terror police in Ankara, Anadolu said.
Telel editor-in-chief Merdan Yanardag confirmed the detentions on his Twitter account and said they were aimed at giving an “ultimatum to independent media”.
“We are at the top of our jobs. We will not remain silent and we will not bow,” he said.
Anadolu did not elaborate on the detentions, saying only they were for “political and military espionage”.
Pro-government Sabah newspaper reported that the journalists were accused of leaking information about Turkey’s war plans in Libya and Syria.
It said Yildiz held “critical phone talks” with a military personnel, identified as E.B., about Turkey’s military units in Libya, adding that the E.B. was also detained in Istanbul in connection with the same dossier on Monday.
Turkey backs rebels looking to oust President Bashar al-Assad in Syria and has carried out three military incursions against the Islamic State and Syrian Kurdish militia forces deemed as terror group by Ankara.
In Libya, Turkey supports the UN-recognised government in Tripoli which has recently made gains against military strongman Khalifa Haftar.
Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2020