#SyrianWar: Police detain Turkey editor-in-chief, 3 others of Russia's Sputnik website for hours: Sputnik

Russian PM Lavrov Calls On His Counterpart Cavusoglu to Resolve Situation Around Sputnik Turkey Journalists As Soon As Possible

The wife of Sputnik Turkey’s editor in chief told Sputnik on Sunday that Mahir Boztepe had been freed from police custody in Istanbul.

“Mahir has been released,” she said.

Late on Saturday, a group of angry individuals attempted to raid the homes of three Sputnik Turkey employees, chanting slogans and threatening violence against the journalists.

The staffers were later reportedly detained by Turkish security forces.

The chief editor of Sputnik Turkey Mahir Boztepe was detained in the agency's Istanbul office, just hours after Turkish security forces apprehended Sputnik staff members in Ankara, Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan wrote on her Telegram channel.

According to the bureau in Istanbul, the police took Boztepe to the General Directorate of Security.

Simonyan previously reported that Turkish police officers arrived at the Istanbul office and detained another Sputnik employee.

Police Officers Make Copies of Hard Drives from Computers at Sputnik Turkey Office in Istanbul

Meanwhile, The Turkish police in Ankara deny having Sputnik employees in custody, Simonyan revealed.

Sputnik confirmed that the three journalists had been taken to an Ankara court for questioning and that Turkish police were searching the Russian news website's Istanbul office.

Sputnik also said a meeting was underway in Istanbul between an agency representative, their lawyer, officials from the Russian consulate and Turkish police.

The Turkish branch of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) tweeted on Sunday that police took statements from the three journalists in Ankara after Sputnik published an article in English titled: "The 'Stolen Province': Why Turkey Was Given A Corner Of Syria By France 80 Years Ago."

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the attack as a blatant violation of the journalists' rights. According to the ministry, the journalists are currently being held by Turkish security forces. The situation is complicated by the fact that it is has not been possible to contact the detained journalists.

Sputnik has appealed to the United Nations, OSCE and UNESCO in connection with the attack.

The OSCE representative on freedom of the media Harlem D├ęsir has strongly condemned the incident.

"The Russian side emphasized the necessity for a speedy resolution of the situation around journalists and employees of the Sputnik news agency in Ankara and ensuring their safety," the statement said.

Detention of Sputnik Turkey Editor-in-Chief, Three Staff Members Flagrant Violation of Media Freedom - Turkish Journalist Union

The Union wrote: "Yesterday evening, in Ankara, there was an attempt to assault homes of three Sputnik Turkey journalists. People who gathered before their homes threatened and insulted our colleagues. The journalists who went to the police to complain about the attempted assault were detained ... As professional organisations, we once again urge the authorities to refrain from making journalists their targets. The detained journalists must be released," the Journalists Union of Turkey together with six other organisations said in a joint statement.

Also, Reporters Without Borders Watchdog Group Condemns Detention of Sputnik Turkey Employees

Three journalists working for the Sputnik news agency in the Turkish capital were freed on Sunday after giving testimony.

Relatives of the detained Turkish citizens told Sputnik they had been allowed to walk free after testifying against people who tried to storm their homes late on Saturday.

The prosecutor's office in Ankara said in a statement that the journalists did not commit any offense and were free to go.

The trio called their families to say they were being released. They walked out of the Palace of Justice in Ankara minutes later and were met with a round of applause.

Retaliatory Measures Against Turkish Media Will Not Be Long in Coming - Diplomatic Source in Moscow

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