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Sputnik incident in Turkey: police came after journalists

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — If we talk about creating an atmosphere on the eve of a possible Moscow meeting between Erdogan and Putin, then certainly the encroachments on the representations of the Sputnik International Information Agency in Ankara and Istanbul will not improve it both from some violent and captive activists, and from the Turkish police.

On February 29, aggressively-minded groups of unknowns tried to break into the home of three Sputnik journalists in Ankara, and this happened almost simultaneously. Surprisingly well-coordinated actions, given that all three Turkish Sputnik journalists are not public and their addresses are not publicly available. When journalists went to the police in search of protection, they did not find her there, but even the opposite.

“They were detained by Turkish law enforcement agencies, they didn’t get in touch, the phones were still disconnected, we couldn’t find their home addresses. Later it became known that they were charged with absurd charges of writing an article they were not sponsored. Today they were taken to the Palace of Justice, where they gave evidence to the prosecutor,” said Elena Kochetkova, head of the representative office of MIA Russia Today in Ankara.

After several hours of interrogation, the prosecutor’s office announced: there was no corpus delicti in the activities of journalists, all three were released home. But followed by a sequel. On March 1 in the afternoon, Turkish police came to the Istanbul office of Sputnik with a search.

“The police outfit that arrived at our office is about 10-12 people. We visited our servers, technical rooms, studied, received information on how the functioning of the office works from a technical point of view. At present, all police officers remain in our office, “said Maxim Durnev, head of the representative office of MI Russia Today in Istanbul.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has already paid attention to the situation with our colleagues, calling the attack on employees of the Turkish Sputnik bureau and their detention “a gross violation of the rights of journalists.”

“The journalists were intimidated by physical violence, demanded to stop their professional activities. We urge the Turkish authorities to intervene in the situation, ensure security for the Russian media and help clarify all the circumstances of the incident,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

And what happened really looks very strange. First, groups of aggressive, strong young people come home to journalists, accuse them of betrayal and intimidate. Then the police, instead of dealing with attacks on media employees, are themselves detaining and interrogating them, trying to make far-fetched charges.

The situation around the Sputnik agency has already been discussed by Sergey Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Cavusoglu.

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