Law enforcement officials Tuesday raided the offices of the Etkin News Agency (ETHA) and the Güneş Agency, which oversees the technical affairs of the left-wing weekly Atılım, on claims they are the media outlets of the Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP.)
The Ninth Istanbul Court for Serious Crimes issued the search orders into the building where both agencies' offices are located.
Employees of the Atılım newspaper and the ETHA then staged a protest in Istanbul's Taksim Square by selling newspapers in response to the police raids on Tuesday morning.
ETHA Editor Nadiye Gürbüz said the police had seized all their archives and notes pertaining to news stories.
"Undercover Anti-Terror police came into our office and said they had a [warrant] to search both ETHA and the Güneş Agency which oversees the technical affairs of the Atılım newspaper. The search that began at 10:00 is still underway [as of 17:00.] They seized all our videotapes, notes pertaining to news stories and our friends' personal belongings," she said.
"They did not allow us to work in the meantime. We attempted to publish news about this raid with a few friends who were left outside, but as the Etkin News Agency, we are currently unable to report news to our subscribers," Gürbüz added.
"De facto detention"
Law enforcement officials held ten people under custody despite the fact that they lack detention orders, she said.
"The Atılım newspaper is going to go to print tomorrow; the work for that has also come to a halt. They seized our cameras. They said there are no detention orders, but there is a de facto detention. 10 of our friends are inside," Gürbüz said.
The officials also brought in an inspector from the Social Security Institution to write an official report claiming that some employees were uninsured, according to Gürbüz, who explained that the allegedly uninsured employees were actually volunteers.
"This is not the first such occasion. This time around, they are searching for criminal elements in the office on the claim that [the agencies and the newspaper] are media outlets of the MLKP. They could not stop it this time, and they will not be able to stop it [in the future] either," she added. (ÇT/RE/NV)
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