ANKARA (Reuters) - A left-leaning Turkish news magazine said on Monday its offices were raided by police and two editors detained over a cover suggesting election results would deepen divisions and trigger conflict in the country.
The latest edition of Nokta carried the cover headline “the beginning of civil war”, after Sunday’s election saw the ruling AK Party regain its parliamentary majority in a major victory for President Tayyip Erdogan.
Rights groups and opponents have accused Erdogan and the government of trying to silence opposition media. Authorities seized two opposition newspapers and took two TV channels off air in the days ahead of the election in what they said was a crackdown on one of Erdogan’s arch enemies.
Nokta said an Istanbul prosecutor’s office banned distribution of its latest edition and ordered the raid after the cover was published online. State prosecutors could not immediately be reached for comment.
The magazine was also raided almost two months ago for a mock “selfie” of a smiling Erdogan with the coffin of a soldier - an allusion to his comments that families of soldiers killed by Kurdish rebels could be happy about their martyrdom.
In October, access to the magazine’s website was blocked by an Ankara court for defaming the AKP Erdogan founded. In a previous incarnation, it was closed for eight years under pressure from the military, only reopening this May.
Turkey, which aspires to membership of the European Union, ranks towards the bottom of global press freedom rankings. Erdogan’s opponents fear Sunday’s election result, which could pave the way for him to assume greater presidential powers, risks making the country increasingly authoritarian.
Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Alison Williams