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JOURNALIST and economist Mustafa Sonmez was detained by Turkish authorities in the early hours of yesterday morning after sharing a social media post deemed critical of the government.
Initially the pro-government Anadolu Agency reported that Mr Sonmez had been taken into custody for insulting Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
However, his publisher said he had been arrested for criticising the Justice & Development Party (AKP)-led government’s economic policies.
Mr Sonmez was released yesterday afternoon after giving a statement at an Istanbul police station where he had been held for about 10 hours.
It is believed he was detained after sharing a post which showed supporters of Istanbul’s Besiktas football club demanding the recognition of Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem Imamoglu’s victory in the city’s mayoral election.
Fans were filmed chanting “Give the mandate to Imamoglu,” angering Mr Erdogan, who has demanded a full recount in Istanbul after AKP candidate former prime minister Binali Yildirim lost out in a humiliating defeat for Turkey’s ruling party.
It is believed that Mr Imamoglu will be given the mandate to take up the post of Istanbul mayor this afternoon, ending two weeks of wrangling and attempts to block his appointment.
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