Austrian commentator detained in Turkey on terror charges

Updated 8 p.m. 11/09/2018

Turkish authorities have detained Austrian writer Max Zirngast in the Turkey’s capital of Ankara on Tuesday for publishing terrorist propaganda, left-wing Re:volt magazine reported.

The magazine later stated Zirngast was likely being held in relation to his "political publications."

This was an opinion shared by an associate of Zirngast's, political scientist and journalist İsmail Küpeli.

"I know Max Zirngast to be a clever person and an exceptional author. We took part in several panel discussions together, where he showed his political stance clearly. This has nothing to do with 'terrorism,'" German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle quoted Küpeli as saying in a tweet.

Zirngast, an independent commentator who has contributed to publications including Jacobin Magazine, was detained by Turkish police at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, along with a group of others, the magazine said.



Since the country’s July 2016 coup attempt, Turkish authorities have been cracking down on media workers they claim support or have ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group which has been at war in in Turkey for over 30 years, and the exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating the coup to overthrow the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.