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Turkish Court Jails Nine Staff Of Opposition Daily

A man reads a copy of the Cumhuriyet daily newspaper in front of the newspaper's headquarters in Istanbul during a police operation on October 31.

Turkish authorities have ordered the formal arrest pending trial of nine executives and journalists from the opposition secularist Cumhuriyet newspaper, a day after leaders of the main pro-Kurdish party were also jailed.

The nine staff include some of the most prominent names in Turkish journalism.

They are charged with links to the PKK, a Kurdish militant group and the U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for a 15 failed coup on July 15.

A total of 13 staff, including editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu and cartoonist Musa Kart, were detained for questioning on October 31.

Columnists Hikmet Cetinkaya and Aydin Engin were released on judicial control due to age and health grounds, and two other suspects were released without charge.

The nine staff will be held behind bars ahead of a trial, for which no date has been set.

The arrests come amid a government crackdown on opposition voices.

On November 5, authorities arrested nine members of parliament from the opposition pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) including its co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag on terror charges.

Turkey’s Western allies have voiced concern over the recent arrests.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP