Sunday, March 6, 2016

Turkish Police Usurp Largest Opposition Paper; Pres. Erdogan Won't Let Papers Stigmatize Him

Turkish special forces stormed the largest opposition newspaper in Turkey, Zaman, on the eve of March 4, forcibly taking over the paper. Outside, riot police fired rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons into the crowds of thousands protesting the takeover, the Clarion Project website reports today (March 6, 2016).

The front page of Zaman's last edition -- printed in black and published before the takeover -- read "Shameful day for free press in Turkey."

Abdulhamit Bilici -- the paper's editor-in-chief -- who was fired and dragged out of the building, said, "It's a dark day for Turkish democracy and a flagrant violation of the constitution."

Earlier -- commenting that under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has been labeled the biggest jail for journalists in Europe -- Bilici said, "It has been a habit for the last three or four years, that anyone who is speaking against government policies is facing either court cases or prison, or such control by the government."

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