People gather outside the Justice Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 to protest against the latest detentions in Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
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The Turkish government Monday faced accusations of eroding democracy and press freedoms after over two dozen people were arrested in raids against media critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.The swoop on Sunday chiefly targeted a newspaper and television closely allied to the U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, a onetime close ally of Erdogan who has become his arch enemy. Among a total of 27 people arrested in the nationwide raids were Ekrem Dumanli, the editor-in-chief of the Zaman daily newspaper which is closely linked to Gulen and Hidayet Karaca, the head of the pro-Gulen Samanyolu TV (STV). Turkish television said that three people working for the TV series had been released overnight but 24 suspects were still being questioned by Istanbul police.Commentator Abdulkadir Selvi in the pro-government Yeni Safak daily also criticized the arrests.The Turkish government has repeatedly asked Washington to extradite Gulen, 73, but to no avail.
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