The government in Turkey is facing accusations of eroding democracy and press freedoms, following the arrest of at least 27 police officers, journalists and media workers.

Those detained are accused of forgery and fabricating evidence, and according to the state news agency, "forming a crime syndicate to overtake the sovereignty of the state".

The raids are seen as the latest campaign against a US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen.

He was a one-time close ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but is now considered his enemy, and a threat to national security.

Erdogan became the first president to be elected by popular vote in August.

And the crackdown on opponents is being viewed by critics as yet another bid to tighten his grip on power, ahead of a general election in June.

A sign of shifting politics or fears of a much greater threat?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Abdullah Bozkurt - bureau chief for the Today's Zaman newspaper.

Galip Dalay - Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

Fadi Hakura - Associate Fellow at Chatham House and a specialist on Turkish politics and the economy.

Source: Al Jazeera