Turkey’s state-run news agency, Anadolu, said that Egyptian police raided its office in Cairo today and detained four of its staff members.
It said it had no information on where its employees were taken to following the raid. One of those arrested is a Turkish national, it added.
The raid comes amid tense relations between Turkey and Egypt. Turkey, which backed Egypt’s deposed former president, Mohamed Morsi, has been a staunch critic of current President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who overthrew his predecessor in a bloody coup.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the raid and demanded the immediate release of the Anadolu employees.
“The raid to the Anadolu Agency’s Cairo office last night by the Egyptian security forces and the detention of some of the office workers without justification is an act of harassment and intimidation against the Turkish press, we strongly condemn it,” Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry summoned Egypt’s Ankara charge d’affaires following the raid, according to authorities.
Egypt is among the world’s worst offenders against press freedom. While Egypt’s current constitution enshrines a free press, bans censorship, and ensures press independence, these rights are not protected in practice. The government has frequently imprisoned journalists. This has left to Egypt being ranked 163rd out of 180 countries in Reporters without Borders (RSF)’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index, two places lower than in 2018.