BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Turkish journalist suspected of having links to Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based cleric blamed by Turkey for orchestrating a failed coup in 2016, was detained Wednesday in Romania, authorities said.

Bucharest prosecutor Viviana Ciuca told The Associated Press that Kamil Demirkaya was detained based on an extradition request from Turkey for "being a member of criminal, terrorist group."

The Zaman Romania newspaper said their employee was arrested "on the order" of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Demirkaya later appeared in court.

Zaman's edition in Turkey was shut down by the government after the failed coup, in which Gulen denies involvement.

Zaman, critical of Erdogan, now has editions in Romania and Bulgaria. Zaman Romania said Demirkaya has lived in Romania for two years with his wife and son, "writing about the abuses of power in Ankara."

Cristian Preda, an independent Romanian lawmaker in the European Parliament, called on the justice minister to halt the extradition process, saying Romania had "international commitments not to extradite citizens to countries where human rights are endangered."

"Turkey is one such country," Preda, said in a statement, adding that if the government extradites Demirkaya "it (will be) disqualified all over the European Union."

The case is delicate for Romania, which takes over the EU's rotating presidency on. Jan. 1.

The ruling Social Democrats have moved to pass a contentious judicial overhaul that critics say will erode democracy and the rule of law.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments