Turkey Arrests Two Journalists on Terrorism Charges

Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, center, is seen during a press freedom march in central Istanbul, Turkey, October 3. Murad Sezer/Reuters

Two prominent Turkish journalists were arrested on Thursday on charges of assisting terrorists, CNN Turk said, after they published footage that purported to show the state intelligence agency helping send weapons to Syria.

A Turkish court ordered the arrest of the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet, Can Dundar, and the newspaper's Ankara correspondent, Erdem Gul, the television channel said.

Turkish media reports said that the two faced a number of charges including membership of an armed terrorist organization and the publishing of material in violation of state security following the release of the footage in May.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the reports.

The video, purporting to show Turkish police opening crates of weapons and ammunition bound for Syria on the back of state security agency trucks, prompted President Tayyip Erdogan to vow revenge, saying he would not forgive such reporting.

European diplomats are measured in their criticism of media freedom in Turkey and Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian rule, recognizing the West needs Ankara's help on the migrant crisis and as an ally in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State.

Europe is hoping to finalize a deal with Ankara—a NATO member and a candidate for E.U. membership—on the refugee crisis at a summit this weekend.