Istanbul, Oct 27 () - The appointment of a trustee panel for Koza İpek, a corporation linked to the government’s ally-turned-nemesis Fethullah Gülen, upon the request of the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office ahead of the repeat general elections on Nov. 1 has created an uproar across Turkey.
Head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu visited the group before midnight on Oct. 26, shortly after reports surfaced on the appointment of a trustee panel.
Editor-in-Chief of Bugün TV Tarık Toros welcomed Kılıçdaroğlu, who argued the incident was an anomaly in a state of law.
“Such decisions harm our democracy and the reputation of our country. Declaring a group as the enemy and attacking them without restraint is unacceptable” he stated.
Kılıçdaroğlu said a legal battle needs to be waged against what he defined as “lawlessness” and pledged to do their share as the CHP.
Meanwhile, a group of journalists from Cumhuriyet daily, including its Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar, paid a visit to the headquarters of İpek Media Group in Istanbul, BGNNews has reported.
“We will struggle against this pressure all together. We won’t give up. These buildings, TV stations, newspapers are all temporary. We will always be here. We won’t surrender” Dündar told reporters.
U.S. Embassy in Ankara also tweeted a statement expressing concern about the decision.
“The U.S. believes strongly that freedom of press/expression are universal rights. They are essential for healthy democratic societies” the embassy said on its official Twitter account.
“When there is a reduction in the range of viewpoints available to citizens, especially before an election, it is a matter of concern” the embassy added.
In the meantime, a group of protesters have gathered in front of Kanaltürk offices in Istanbul's central Mecidiyeköy province in order to express support.
Turkish police raided companies in Ankara belonging to Koza İpek in September.
A court search warrant at that time showed that Koza Altın and group firm Koza Anadolu Metal were being investigated on suspicion of terror financing, terror propaganda and other crimes related to Chairman Akın İpek’s alleged support for Fethullah Gülen.
The detained persons were released on probation by an Ankara court on Sept. 2.
Ankara’s Eighth Criminal Court of Peace then issued an arrest warrant in absentia for Akın İpek, the chairman of Koza İpek.