In what is being considered an overarching action made by Cyprus, the island nation’s government has announced its plans to ask the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to help it defend the two Turkish Cypriot journalists who are being detained and investigated in Turkey over an article that is being considered as “derogatory” to the latter.

According to Prodromos Prodromou, spokesman for Cyprus government, the OSCE has been asked to defend the “right of free speech and media freedom” of the journalists, which they have a right to keep by default. He further said the European Union is keeping a close watch on the case.

The two journalists – Sener Levent and Afrika columnist Ali Osman – must be defended as they “haven’t done anything wrong” and should not forcibly work with authorities.

The article which has led to the controversy was published in Turkey in January, and compared Turkey’s Syrian military operation to its Cyprus military occupation in the northern third. This is also the place where Ankara has been keeping 35,000 troops since as early as 1974.