[JURIST] Turkish authorities on Thursday jailed an estimated 10 individuals, including several journalists, allegedly involved with aiding the Ergenekon coup plot [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], amid continued foreign concerns for the treatment of journalists within the country. The arrests were carried out in conjunction with police raids in Ankara and Istanbul, during which authorities copied computer hard drives and confiscated notes from suspects’ homes. The investigation’s targets are suspected of having ties to the Ergenekon plot, an alleged plan to assassinate prominent members of Turkey’s Christian and Jewish minority groups, blame Islamic terrorists for the deaths and use this to delegitimize the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) [party website]. Among those detained [AP report] were Nedim Sener, an investigative reporter for two major Turkish newspapers, and Dogan Yurdakul and Mumtaz Idil, employees of Oda TV [media website, in Turkish], an online news website that had been critical of the Turkish government and whose owner was arrested [JURIST report] along with two other journalists last month.
US officials voiced concerns [statement] last month over the treatment of journalists in Turkey, while Turkish officials have warned other countries not to become involved in their domestic matters. In June, a Turkish criminal court began the trial [JURIST report] of 33 retired and active naval officers accused of attempting to overthrow the government and establish military rule as part of the Ergenekon plot. The Turkish government indicted the 33 defendants [JURIST report] in March on charges of attempting to overthrow the government and establish military rule. Also in March, Turkish police detained 20 people in connection with the plot, and Turkish prosecutors charged [JURIST reports] an army general and a state prosecutor with belonging to Ergenekon and plotting to overthrow the AKP. The Ergenekon investigation has been criticized as an attempt by the AKP to silence the opposition and impose Islamic principles [JURIST report] on secular Turkey. Trials against the Ergenekon group started [JURIST report] two years ago, and nearly 200 people have been charged in connection with it.
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