Turkish police storm media group with 'tear gas' and 'take over' broadcast

Turkish police storm media group with 'tear gas'. Credit: @MahirZeynalov

Police in Turkey have stormed the offices of an opposition media company days ahead of an election.

Fights broke out and police sprayed water cannon to disperse dozens of people in front of the offices of Kanalturk and Bugun TV in Istanbul.

Here's everything we know about the incident.

  • What happened and why?

Footage showed the crackdown as it unfolded on companies linked to a US-based cleric and foe of President Tayyip Erdogan.

Owned by Koza Ipek Holding, the media group has links to Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

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  • Why are the authorities targeting Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen?

A prosecutor is seeking a prison sentence of up to 34 years for the 74-year-old Gulen.

He faces allegations that he ran a "parallel" structure within state institutions that sought to topple Erdogan.

Erdogan has led Turkey, first as prime minister, and then president, since 2003.

  • Is this the first media company that has been taken over?

On October 28, the authorities took over management of 22 companies owned by Koza Ipek.

President Erdogan led the crackdown against once influential followers of Gulen, who was once his former ally.

Police and prosecutors seen as sympathetic to the cleric opened a corruption investigation into Erdogan's inner circle in 2013.