Turkey cancels all TV, radio licences linked to Gulen: watchdog

US-based Turkish cleric and regime opponent Fethullah Gulen, seen in 2016, has strongly denied Ankara's charge that he ordered the failed coup and Turkey has failed to secure his extradition (AFP Photo/Thomas URBAIN) (AFP/File)

Istanbul (AFP) - Turkish authorities on Tuesday scrapped all TV and radio station licences linked to US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of being behind Friday's failed coup.

The broadcasting watchdog said it had "cancelled all broadcasting rights and licences for media that had links to FETO/PDY", referring to the "Fethullah Terrorist Organisation", the government's derogatory name for the Gulen movement.

Gulen has strongly denied Turkey's accusations that he masterminded the attempted putsch.

The decision was made during an extraordinary meeting of the watchdog on Tuesday, it said.

The 24 channels and radio stations affected were named by the state-run news agency Anadolu.

The agency also said the prime ministry's press and information office (BYEGM) had revoked press cards for 34 journalists believed to be close to Gulen.

"This action we have taken must not be seen as restricting press freedom," BYEGM Vice President Ekrem Okutan said, Anadolu reported.

Media linked to the preacher have come under recent attack in Turkey.

In March, Zaman, the biggest-selling daily newspaper, and the headquarters of the news headquarters China, which belonged to parent company Feza, were raided by police and state administrators were brought in.

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