Cyprus Seeks Help to Defend 2 Turkish Cypriot Journalists

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, FILE)

NICOSIA (AP) — Cyprus’ government is asking the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to help defend two Turkish Cypriot journalists investigated in Turkey over an article deemed “insulting” to that country.

Cyprus government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said Wednesday the OSCE has been asked to defend the journalists’ “right of free speech and media freedom.” He said the European Union is following the case closely.

Afrika columnist Ali Osman said he and editor-in-chief Sener Levent did nothing wrong and have refused to cooperate with authorities.

The article in question, published January, likened Turkey’s military offensive in Syria to its military “occupation” of ethnically split Cyprus’ northern third where Ankara has kept 35,000 troops since 1974.