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Turkey Issues Arrest Warrants For 42 Journalists

Turkish authorities have issued arrest warrants for 42 journalists, the latest in a widening crackdown that followed a failed military coup, television news channels reported on July 25.

Prominent commentator and former parliamentarian Nazli Ilicak was among those for whom a warrant was issued, NTV and CNN-Turk reported. Ilicak was fired from the pro-government Sabah daily in 2013 for criticizing ministers caught up in a corruption scandal.

The government blamed the high-profile 2013 corruption scandal on the US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen whom Ankara also accuses of being behind the July 15 coup attempt.

Ankara had been widely criticized even before the coup for restricting press freedoms.

Turkey has suspended, detained, or placed under investigation more than 60,000 soldiers, police, judges, teachers, civil servants, and others in the wake of the coup attempt aimed at toppling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan has also said he was ready to reinstate the death penalty "if the people demand it."

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on July 25 that "Turkey, in its current state, is not in a position to become [an EU] member any time soon and not even over a longer period."

Juncker reiterated other EU leaders' statements that all negotiations for Turkey to join the European Union will stop immediately if it reintroduces the death penalty.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP