Top Turkey media group probed for 'terror propaganda': state agency

Top Turkey media group probed for 'terror propaganda': state agency
A protester holds a poster of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reading "the new dictator" during a demonstration in support of migrants and refugees at the Dam Square in Amsterdam on September 13, 2015.
PHOTO: AFP

ANKARA - Turkish prosecutors have begun investigating a leading media group for "terrorist propaganda" over its coverage of the fighting between government forces and Kurdish militants, state-run Anatolia news agency reported on Tuesday.

The investigation into the Dogan Media Group, which owns the independent Hurriyet daily and CNN Turk channel among other outlets, was triggered by its contrasting treatment of images of Turkish soldiers and members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Anatolia said.

While the images of Turkish soldiers killed in August were "uncensored", meaning their features were distinguishable, those of PKK militants killed in another battle were blurred, the report added.

The probe also covered an interview by CNN Turk with an activist charged over her participation in anti-government protests in 2013, who is since reported to have joined the PKK, according to Anatolia.

It comes nearly two months into the resumption of fighting between the Turkish military and PKK, after the collapse in July of a two-year-old ceasefire.

The army is pressing a relentless offensive against PKK strongholds in southeast Turkey and in northern Iraq, to which the PKK has responded with a string of deadly attacks on the security forces.

The case against Dogan is set to add to concern over deteriorating press freedoms in Turkey under Erdogan, with a number of journalists facing legal proceedings for allegedly insulting top officials.

On Monday, Turkish police raided the offices of Nokta news magazine after it featured on its cover a photomontage portraying President Recep Tayyip Erdogan taking a selfie at a soldier's funeral.

Turkish police also searched the Ankara-based offices of a media group critical of Erdogan earlier this month, and two British reporters were briefly jailed on terrorism charges.

The offices of Hurriyet newspaper have been attacked twice by pro-government demonstrators for allegedly misquoting Erdogan.

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