On 14 December 2014 Turkish police arrested more than two dozen senior journalists and media executives on charges of "forming, leading and being a member of an armed terrorist organization." Among those now detained was Dumanlı, who was serving as editor-in-chief of Zaman.
The arrested were people associated with the Gülen movement. The Turkish government accuses the movement of infiltrating the police and judiciary. Police arriving at 7.30 a.m. at the newspaper's office were greeted by scores of protesters shouting "a free media cannot be silenced." They had mounted a vigil after tweets from "Fuatavni (tr)" - a reliable but anonymous source - had warned of the raid. Police retreated only to reappear in the afternoon when Dumanlı gave himself up voluntarily.
On 19 December 2014 a court ordered that Dumanlı and seven others to be released due to lack of evidence. Thousands gathered outside Çağlayan Courthouse in İstanbul to show support for the detained journalists and police officials. While crowds celebrated the release of Dumanlı in the courtyard of the courthouse, they protested the arrest order for Samanyolu TV General Manager Hidayet Karaca and former police chiefs Tufan Ergüder, Ertan Erçıktı and Mustafa Kılıçaslan.
Ekrem Dumanlı wrote for Washington Post about his arrest process and obstacles about freedom of press in Turkey, where he said “My newspaper, Zaman, and I are just the latest victims of Erdoğan’s witch hunt.”, blaming Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his arrest. (3)
An arrest warrant was issued for Ekrem Dumanlı, the former editor-in-chief of daily Zaman, on Sept. 18 for “attempting a coup” and “forming an organization with felonious intent,” it has emerged.
The whereabouts of Dumanlı have been unknown since Sept. 18, and he has not even used his cell phone for fear of detention and did not cast his vote in the Nov. 1 general elections, according to media reports. About 20 days after the arrest warrant was issued, Dumanlı announced his resignation on Oct. 5 due to “unlawful pressure on the press and his personality.”
Dumanlı wrote on his Twitter account on Nov. 9 that he had not been informed about the arrest warrant.
In 2014, Dumanlı, along with several journalists, including Samayolu TV head Hidayet Karaca, was detained in a police operation on groups linked to Gülen. Eight suspects, including Dumanlı, were released while the court imposed a travel ban on him. (4)