The chief editor of Sputnik Turkey Mahir Boztepe has been detained in the agency's Istanbul office, just hours after Turkish security forces apprehended Sputnik staff members in Ankara, Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan wrote on her Telegram channel.
According to the bureau in Istanbul, the police took Boztepe to the General Directorate of Security.
Simonyan previously reported that Turkish police officers arrived at the Istanbul office and detained another Sputnik employee.
Meanwhile, The Turkish police in Ankara deny having Sputnik employees in custody, Simonyan revealed.
On Saturday night, groups of aggressive people, who were shouting nationalist slogans, insults and threats, tried to force their way into the homes of three Sputnik Turkey employees in Ankara. According to Sputnik Turkey, the attackers tried to break the doors and were shouting "Turkey for Turks," "Traitors," and "Russian spies." The attackers managed to get away before the police arrived. The incident did not result in any injures.
The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the attack as a blatant violation of the journalists' rights. According to the ministry, the journalists are currently being held by Turkish security forces. The situation is complicated by the fact that it is has not been possible to contact the detained journalists.
Sputnik has appealed to the United Nations, OSCE and UNESCO in connection with the attack.
The OSCE representative on freedom of the media Harlem Désir has strongly condemned the incident.