Turkish journalists face legal action for years-old reports on tweets of whistleblower with close-ties to Erdoğan

Turkish authorities have filed a lawsuit against four journalists from left-leaning daily Birgün over its publication of reports based on tweets of a whistleblower social media account that the government says was affiliated with the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen.

The journalists are accused of aiding and abetting Gülen movement, which the government blames for orchestrating the July 2016 coup attempt, for publishing news based on the tweets of a Twitter account that goes by the name Fuat Avni, Birgün said.

The Twitter account claimed to be a part of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s inner circle, and published tweets which accurately predicted several events before they happened.

The account became a very hot issue when it began tweeting in April 2014 while the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government was dealing with corruption allegations backed up by extensive leaks of sound recordings and documents.