Turkey orders closure of over 130 media outlets in post-coup purge

The Turkish government has ordered the closure of more than 130 media outlets amid a deepening crackdown following this month’s failed coup. Three news agencies, 16 television stations, 23 radio stations, 45 newspapers, 15 magazines and 29 publishers are among those that have been shut down. It follows the closure of other media outlets including the Cihan news agency which are suspected of links to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the government has accused of masterminding the 15 July plot to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The prosecutors aren’t interested in what individual columnists wrote or said. At this point, the reasoning is that prominent employees of Zaman (newspaper) are likely to have intimate knowledge of the Gulen network and as such could benefit the investigation.

Turkish government official

Authorities handed out arrest warrants for 42 journalists earlier this week as part of the crackdown on alleged supporters of Mr Gulen. On Wednesday, more were issued for the detention of another 47 employees from the now defunct Zaman newspaper. The United States has described the targeting of journalists as a “troubling trend”. The move comes as Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildrim on Thursday prepared to meet with the country’s remaining top military commanders to discuss a radical shake-up of its armed forces. At the hastily convened meeting of the Supreme Military Council (YAS) in Ankara will be land, sea and air force commanders, along with other top brass untarnished by the attempted power grab.