Already facing international criticism for its arrest of British reporters yesterday, Turkey continued its media crackdown with a raid against Koza-Ipek, a major media company in the capital of Ankara. The government said the raid was part of a “terrorist investigation.”
State media reported that the raid was targeting 23 companies in the Koza-Ipek Group who they are accusing of “giving financial support” to the Fetullahist movement, and conducting “propaganda” against the government. The raids came after Koza-Ipek papers published new details about cross-border weapons transfers by the Erdogan government into Syria, including to ISIS.
The allegations aren’t new. Back in May a series of videos and still images were released showing Turkish state intelligence agents participating in arms smuggling at the ISIS border. The prosecutors who uncovered the report were similarly detained as “terrorists.”
Koza-Ipek is seen by the government as particularly favorable to Fethullah Gulen. Gulen is an imam who lives in exile in Pennsylvania, and an advocate of a more tolerant form of Sunni Islam. He is also harshly critical of corruption in government, which has set him at odds with Erdogan and led to allegations of terrorism.
Yesterday’s arrests targeted Vice News reporters, who were covering the Turkish war against the Kurdish PKK. They too are facing terror charges, which their lawyer says is an attempt to block media coverage of the war.