Turkey arrests prominent journalist on alleged espionage charges: Anadolu

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A Turkish court has jailed a prominent opposition journalist from an online news outlet pending trial on alleged “military and political espionage” charges, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday.

Muyesser Yildiz, the Ankara news editor for the OdaTV online news portal, was detained on Monday. She was formally arrested on Thursday following her questioning.

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Ismail Dukel, Ankara representative of broadcaster TELE1, who was also detained along with Yildiz and questioned, was released, Anadolu said. An army sergeant detained with them was also jailed, it said without elaborating.

A lawyer for Yildiz was not immediately available to comment.

OdaTV, an online news outlet, has been critical of President Tayyip Erdogan's government. Turkey ranks among the top jailers of journalists across the world.

More than 120 journalists are still being held in Turkey’s jails, a global record, and the situation of the media in the country has not improved since the lifting of a two-year state of emergency in 2018, a global press watchdog said last year.

Since a failed coup attempt in July 2016, Ankara has cracked down on suspected members of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen's network, which it accuses of orchestrating the putsch. More than 77,000 people have been jailed and some 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been sacked or suspended.

Critics say Erdogan has used the failed coup as a pretext to clamp down on dissent and strengthen his grip on power, a charge Ankara denies. It says the measures are necessary to safeguard national security.

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