As the unprecedented crackdown on the press, including the detention of top journalists, escalated to a new level in Turkey, the details of the politically motivated investigation file indicate that the case was built on charges of defaming a deadly al-Qaeda-affiliated group known as Tahşiyeciler.

The prosecutor in charge of the operation claimed that journalists, through print coverage and broadcast media about the police raids conducted on this group in 2010, had defamed the suspects, including the leader of Tahşiyeciler, Mehmet Doğan, who had openly called for an armed struggle to take over the government in Turkey.

In a rather bizarre and twisted story, raids in 2010 that revealed a huge cache of weapons including bombs and guns in a safe house used by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Tahşiyeciler group were covered by many media outlets in Turkey, including CNN Türk, Habertürk, Hürriyet, Radikal and even pro-government dailies Sabah and Star at the time. Government officials took credit for the raids, saying a threat from an important sleeper cell of al-Qaeda had been neutralized.

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