Turkish opposition newspaper publishes blank issue in protest

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https://www.thestar.com/content/dam/thestar/news/world/2017/05/20/turkish-opposition-newspaper-publishes-blank-issue-in-protest/blank-paperjpg.jpg.size.xxlarge.original.jpg

ISTANBUL—A Turkish opposition paper has published a “May 19 Press Freedom Special Edition,” left blank in protest of detentions of some staff members. Saturday’s edition of the Sozcu newspaper carried empty columns with writers’ names and also left the weather blank.

It was a response to Friday’s detentions of Mediha Olgun, the editor of Sozcu’s website, and reporter Gokmen Ulu. Detention warrants were also issued for owner Burak Akbay and head of finance Yonca Kaleli.

They are accused of committing crimes on behalf of the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Read more: Turkish newspaper staff accused of ‘aiding’ terrorism, report says

The government blames Gulen for last summer’s failed coup attempt — an allegation he denies.

Sozcu is a staunch supporter of the secular legacy of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and a sharp critic of Turkey’s president and government.