The Erdogan government in Turkey has arrested 27 journalists in a crackdown on opposition media. The Wall Street Journal reports:
In a series of raids on Sunday in 13 cities, authorities detained 27 people accused of forming an illegal organization to seize control of the state, according to state-run news agency Anadolu.The detentions marked the latest salvo in a battle between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ally-turned-foe Fethullah Gülen, a U.S.-based Turkish cleric accused by the president of seeking to overthrow the government. […]The most high-profile detentions on Sunday were at media outlets close to Mr. Gülen: Ekrem Dumanli, editor in chief of Zaman daily, and Samanyolu Media Group Chairman Hidayet Karaca. Both organizations were founded by followers of Mr. Gülen.
Erdogan’s war against his Gülenist former allies is driven by a need to cover up a major corruption probe from last year. The then-Prime Minister turned the accusations, which were expected to sink him, on their head by proclaiming that a Gülenist conspiracy was out to get him. This weekend’s raids are the most recent, and dramatic, development.Turkey already imprisons a large number of journalists, so this was not a bolt out of the blue. Nevertheless, for those of us who are tracking Erdogan’s evolution into—autocracy? Islamism? something post-democratic—this is a worrying and significant milestone.