Turkey Opens Terrorism Probe on Report of Arms Trucked to Syria

Istanbul prosecutors opened a terrorism investigation into the managing editor of Cumhuriyet newspaper on Friday, hours after it published photos and videos it described as showing Turkish intelligence agency trucks carrying munitions to Syria, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Cumhuriyet said that weapons were found after three trucks belonging to the agency were searched by paramilitary police near Turkey’s Syrian border on Jan. 19, 2014. It identifies their contents as including mortar shells and rifle ammunition, using stills from video footage that Bloomberg cannot independently verify. It wasn’t clear from the report how the newspaper obtained the film.

Cumhuriyet also reported the investigation into its managing editor, Can Dundar, who couldn’t immediately be reached for comment but referred to the probe on his Twitter feed. The newspaper’s office didn’t offer comment, and the office of the chief prosecutor in Istanbul also declined to comment.

Turkey has come under criticism for its curbing of press freedoms that’s included a media black-out on reporting about the search of the trucks near the border. It denies claims that it provided arms to rebels inside Syria, where militant groups, including Islamic State, are fighting against the government. The government has said the trucks were delivering aid to ethnic Turkmen in the region.

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