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Two detained in Turkey over attempted Can Dundar shooting

Gunman accused journalist of being a 'traitor' shortly before he and a colleague were jailed on charges of revealing state secrets
A plainclothes police officer points his gun at a gunman who shot at Can Dundar outside an Istanbul court on Friday (AFP)

Two more people were detained on Saturday in connection with the attempted shooting of a Turkish journalist outside an Istanbul courthouse where he was standing trial, the Dogan news agency reported on Saturday.

Brandishing a pistol, an attacker fired several times on Friday at Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of leading opposition daily Cumhuriyet before being detained by police.

Dundar was unhurt in the attack, although another journalist covering the trial was lightly injured.

"You are [a] traitor. You will pay a price," the attacker, identified by Turkish media as 40-year-old Murat Sahin, reportedly shouted.

CNN Turk reported him as saying he had wanted to teach Dundar "a lesson" and that he had acted alone. "I did not want to kill him, but I could have done it," he was quoted as saying.

Plainclothes police drew their weapons and ordered the man to lie chest down on the ground before detaining him.

"Two other people were detained today [Saturday] after the gun attack that targeted Can Dundar yesterday in front of the Istanbul courthouse," Dogan said.

The attack occurred just before Dundar was sentenced to five years and 10 months on charges of revealing state secrets. Cumhuriyet's Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gul, was handed a five-year jail sentence.

"We know very well who showed me as a target," Dundar said after the attack, accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and pro-government media of whipping up a climate of hatred against him.

Secular newspaper Cumhuriyet is staunchly opposed to the Erdogan government in a country that Reporters without Borders ranks 151st out of 180 in its latest World Press Freedom Index.

Cumhuriyet's report on a shipment of arms intercepted at the Syrian border in January 2014 sparked a furore when it was published last May, fuelling speculation about Turkey's role in the Syrian conflict and its alleged ties to Islamic militant groups in the country.

“I knew the story was big at the time and was fully prepared for its repercussions, but I never imagined I’d be accused of espionage,” Dundar told Middle East Eye in his last interview before he stood trial.

Erdogan had reacted furiously to the allegations, personally warning Dundar he would "pay a heavy price".

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