Turkish authorities seized control of the country’s largest newspaper on Friday in a widening crackdown against supporters of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, an influential foe of President Racep Tayyip Erdogan.
Police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse a few thousand supporters who gathered outside Zaman newspaper’s offices and chanted, “Free press cannot be silenced.”
Rights groups and European officials criticized the confiscation of Zaman and its sister publication, the English-language Today’s Zaman, which occurred on the eve of a summit between Turkey and the European Union and as concerns mount that the Turkish government is stifling critical media.
Administrators were appointed to run Zaman at the request of an Istanbul prosecutor, state-run Anadolu Agency reported. Officials were not immediately available to confirm the reports.
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