ISTANBUL (Agence France Presse) — Turkish journalists took to the streets Friday after the detention of more colleagues in a controversial coup probe, raising the issue of press freedom in the EU-aspirant country. Hundreds marched in central Istanbul as activists, intellectuals and popular artists joined the members of the press, venting their anger at the ruling Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“Free the journalists!” and “AKP, take your hand off the press,” their banners read as some chanted “Down with the AKP dictatorship.”
Backed by opposition lawmakers, scores of journalists marched also in the capital Ankara, some wearing black bands over their mouths, as passers-by showed their support by applauding.
“Who is next?” and “No to journalists in prison,” some banners read.
Raiding homes early on Thursday, police detained 10 people, most of them journalists, drawing condemnation from the EU and international media watchdogs.
It was the latest episode in a long-running probe into Ergenekon, a purported secularist network that allegedly plotted assassinations and bombings to destabilize the AKP and prompt a military coup.