It’s now becoming clear the wide extent of the attack on freedom of expression resulting from the Zaman arrests recently reported. A number of scriptwriters of a soap opera were also banged up!
In fact it was more than scriptwriters, those arrested on Sunday also included directors, a graphic designer and other staff. According to the Financial Times, 16 December; “Their detention highlighted the breadth of the Gulenist movement and the lengths to which (President) Mr. Erdogan appears ready to crack down on it.
“It is the first time they have had this kind of allegation in Turkey – that a soap opera, a fiction, can itself be a crime,” says Caren Sozeri at Istanbul’s Galatassary University. “It is incredible: it is very dangerous for the freedom of the press and art in Turkey.”
The government action is seen by many observers as a further development in the bitter conflict between President Erdogan and Fethullah Gulen an Islamic preacher and former Erdogan friend turned arch-foe.
Meanwhile I have received news that the adjourned OdaTV trial reported elsewhere on this blog will be resumed on 30 January 2015.