Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had an anti-terror law firm issue 42 warrants for the detention of journalists believed to be in league with U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, Deutsche Welle reports.
These warrants are the first of their kind since the recent coup, as no warrants have been previously made against any media.
Of these 42 journalists, News 13 said prominent journalist and former parliamentarian Nazil Iliack was among them. Iliack has been critical of the Erdogan government in the past, having protested against the prevention of a movement formed by Gulen, as well as criticizing ministers of the administration.
These warrants come in the wake of a failed military coup that the Turkish President believes to have been created by Gulen. Gulen has denied any involvement and condemned the attempt.
Since the failed coup, the Turkish government has detained or arrested thousands. In a White House press briefing last Thursday, it was mentioned that 9,000 civilians have been arrested or detained, 21,000 teachers have had their licenses suspended, 1,500 university deans asked to reign, 2,300 ministry of youth and sports people have been suspended, and 24,000 workers in the ministry of education have been suspended. The licenses of 24 TV and radio stations have also been revoked.
Erdogan has also pressed the U.S. to extradite Gulen so he may be tried in Turkey for his alleged treason.
The U.S. government however, has not yet agreed to do so. It has instead called for evidence from Turkey that Gulen was involved in the coup, as it is not in the treaty created and signed by the two countries that treason is cause for extradition.
In response, Turkey has sent numerous documents and files to the White House. The State Department continues to comb through these documents, according to White House press secretary Josh Earnest, looking for evidence of Gulen’s involvement in the coup.
Meanwhile, President Obama continues to urge Erdogan and his government to remember their democratic values and proceed forward in a democratic way.