Authorities in Turkey have issued warrants for the detention of 47 former executives or senior journalists of Zaman newspaper, as the reclusive cleric accused by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of orchestrating a failed coup demanded the US resist demands for his extradition.
At least one journalist, former Zaman columnist Şahin Alpay, was detained at his home early on Wednesday, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Zaman, which was linked to Fethullah Gülen’s religious movement, was raided by police and seized by the government in March as part of a clampdown on the group.
Warrants were issued earlier this week against 42 other journalists, of whom 16 have been detained for questioning. Turkey has detained more than 13,000 people in the military, judiciary and other institutions in purges since the attempted putsch on July 15.
Meanwhile Gülen accused Erdoğan of “blackmailing” the US into extraditing him from Pennsylvania, where he lives.
“His goal: to ensure my extradition, despite a lack of credible evidence and virtually no prospect for a fair trial,” he wrote in an opinion piece for the New York Times. “The temptation to give Mr Erdoğan whatever he wants is understandable. But the United States must resist it.”