An armed Turkish police officer stands guard outside the Cumhuriyet daily newspaper building on 14 January, 2015 in Istanbul OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

Turkey's police on Monday (31 October) arrested the editor-in-chief of an opposition newspaper, Cumhuriyet, and the homes of the paper's executives and writers were being searched, Turkish media said.

According to a report by CNN Turk, prosecutors issued arrest warrants against 13 executives and writers of the newspaper including Murat Sabuncu, the editor and the chairman. One of the paper's columnists, Guray Oz, was detained in Ankara on Monday morning.

Yeni Safak, the pro-government newspaper, reported that they were being investigated for alleged links to the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the government holds responsible for the failed coup attempt in July, and links to the Kurdish militants.

The newspaper is known for its critical stance against the government. In 2015, the paper attracted international attention when it reported about a group of Syria-bound trucks allegedly sent by the country's intelligence agency, carrying weapons to Syrian anti-government fighters.

The paper's previous editor, Can Dundar, was sentenced to six years in jail for publishing details of the operation. His conviction prompted outrage from activists and rights groups as well as western governments who expressed concern over the worsening human rights situation in the country under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Over the weekend, Turkey dismissed 10,000 more civil servants and shut 15 more media outlets over suspected links with Gulen and militants. Since the failed coup, 100,000 people have been suspended and 37,000 arrested in an unprecedented crackdown that Erdogan says is vital to wipe out Gulen's network from the state apparatus.