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Dec 05 2018

Romania releases Turkish journalist detained over terror links accusation by Ankara

A Romanian prosecutor on Wednesday released a Turkish journalist suspected of having links to Fethullah Gülen, the U.S.-based preacher accused by Ankara of orchestrating the July 2016 coup attempt, hours after his detention, Kronos7 news site reported.

Kamil Demirkaya, an employee with the Zaman Romania newspaper, was detained based on a Turkish extradition request for “being a member of a criminal, terrorist group” following on orders of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the early hours of Wednesday, the newspaper quoted Bucharest prosecutor Viviana Ciuca as saying.

Zaman, once one of Turkey’s highest circulation newspapers, was widely regarded as linked to Gülen’s secretive movement. Gülenists are blamed by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of being a part of a terrorist organisation and a series of attempts to overthrow the government culminating in the failed July 2016 coup attempt.

Ankara has been requesting the extradition of Gülenists and demanding the closure of schools linked to the movement as part of a worldwide crackdown since the failed putsch

Zaman, which was shut down in Turkey, maintains editions in Romania and Bulgaria.

Demirkaya, who has been living in Romania for two years, is set to appear in court later Wednesday, the Washington Post said.