Turkey: daily Taraf countersues Premier Erdogan

For defamation after terror probe against paper

09 December, 14:12

    (ANSAmed) - ANKARA, DECEMBER 9 - Leading independent newspaper Taraf, against which magistrates in Istanbul have opened a probe on espionage and terrorism charges at the request of Premier Recep Tayyp Erdogan, has decided to countersue the head of government. The probe was opened after the daily published confidential documents involving the government.

    On Saturday Erdogan slammed the journalist who wrote the report as a 'traitor', Turkish media reported.

    The Turkish premiership, Mit secret services and national security council Mgk on Friday sued Taraf and its journalist Mehmet Baransu - who risks up to 43 years in jail - after the paper published confidential documents dating back to 2004 regarding the decision taken by Mgk, and signed by Erdogan, to 'eliminate' the influential Islamic brotherhood of Fetullah Gulen.

    The publication of the Mgk documents put Erdogan in a difficult position and further worsened the conflict between the premier and Gulen movement which in 2002 helped the Islamic Akp party rise to power. Taraf also made public other classified documents according to which Gulen movement members were filed.

    The paper said it is suing Erdogan in a criminal lawsuit for defaming it and for attempting to influence magistrates.

    Addressing a convention on Saturday, Erdogan said 'revealing state secrets is not freedom but treason' and called on magistrates to 'do their duty'. (ANSAmed)
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