Like a snowball, the news of the raid launched by Egyptian security forces on the headquarters of the
Anadolu news agency in Cairo got bigger and bigger.
Four men, including a Turkish national, were arrested by security forces in the raid and a few hours later
it seemed to become an international crisis.
The US called on Egyptian authorities on Wednesday to free the four Anadolu Agency employees.
“We’re aware of the reports. If true, we call on the Egyptian government to release the detained
journalists and allow for a free and open press in Egypt,” a state department spokesperson told Anadolu
The Turkish statements were harsh, condemning the Egyptian raid and describing the Egyptian regime
as a coup administration.
The Turkish president’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said: “This hostile act by Egypt’s coup
administration toward Anadolu Agency staff displayed how low it stooped. We condemn this hostile
practice by Egyptian authorities toward the Turkish media.”
Turkey’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that a police raid on Anadolu Agency’s office in Egypt’s
capital Cairo and the detention of its employees was “unacceptable.”
“Such a raid by the Egyptian police on Anadolu Agency is unacceptable,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said,
speaking in a televised interview on CNN.
Cavusoglu went on to say that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suspected Egypt was “resentful”
of Turkey for seeking to open an international investigation into the death of former Egyptian President
Mohamed Morsi and its negotiations with Russia for a ceasefire in Libya.
Morsi, who was removed from power in a military coup in 2013, died during a trial session on alleged
espionage charges last year.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Hafez said his country rejected Turkey’s statement.
All actions taken by Egyptian authorities had been carried out in accordance with the applicable laws
and regulations, he said in an emailed statement.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry alleged that the Turkish regime is one of the worst regimes that violates
freedom of opinion and press.
On Wednesday UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said his colleagues were looking into the incident and
reiterated his concerns about the protection of journalists in all corners of the globe.
In a statement, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said it had contacted the Egyptian
Prosecutor General’s Office and the State Information Service for more information about the police
operation but was awaiting a response.
“Journalists operating in Egypt should not have to work in fear that they will be used to settle political
scores between countries,” said Sherif Mansour, the group’s coordinator for the Middle East and North
“Authorities must immediately release the Anadolu news agency staffers arrested yesterday, and stop
using false news charges to harass and silence the media,” he added.
Turkey’s political relations with Egypt have remained rocky since 2013, when Mohamed Morsi was
ousted in a bloody military coup.
Ankara’s maritime deal with Libya’s UN-recognised government of National Accord in November
sparked further tensions with Cairo.
All four journalists have now been released.