Turkey condemns Egypt for raiding Turkish news agency office

The Turkish government on Wednesday condemned an Egyptian police raid on the Cairo office of Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu (AA) news agency.

Four Anadolu employees, one of whom is a Turkish national, were detained in the raid, AA reported.

The reason for the raid and detainment was immediately unclear.

Ankara “strongly condemned” the police operation and urged the immediate release of the four employees.

“The raid to the Anadolu Agency’s Cairo office last night by the Egyptian security forces and the detention of some of the office workers without justification is an act of harassment and intimidation against the Turkish press, we strongly condemn it,” AA quoted the Turkish Foreign Ministry as saying in a statement.

The ministry criticized the Egyptian government for violating press freedom, democracy, and transparency.

The International Press Institute (IPI) condemned the raid announcing that the local authorities “arrested” three Egyptian and one Turkish journalist.

“IPI strongly condemns this blatant attack on the Anadolu Agency and its journalists by Egyptian security forces,” IPI quoted as its Director of Advocacy Ravi R. Prasad said.

The press organization urged Egyptian authorities to explain the reason for arrests. According to the IPI, Hussein El-Kabany, an Egyptian journalist whose freelance journalist brother is behind bars over terrorism charges, is among the detainees.

Egypt’s Abdel Fatah al Sisi government has waged a mass crackdown on media after he toppled Mohammad Morsi, Egypt’s ever-first elected president, in 2013 during a bloody military coup.

There are 61 journalists behind bars in the country, according to IPI.

Turkey, on the other hand, has been the top jailer of journalists in the world following a controversial 2016 coup attempt.

At least 161 media workers welcomed 2020 behind bars in Turkey, according to a report by Jailed Journos, a platform that reports on imprisoned journalists in the country.

The two governments came face to face after Sisi took power from Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist leader for whom Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan showed his public support.

The Egyptian government said Morsi died in a courtroom in June 2017, after four years of imprisonment.

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