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Turkish Authorities Seize Zaman, Country’s Largest Newspaper

HeadlineMar 07, 2016

Turkey’s largest newspaper has been taken over by the authorities. On Friday, Turkish police raided the offices of the newspaper Zaman after a court ruling put the newspaper under state control without giving any reason. The next day, as thousands rallied to defend the newspaper, police fired rubber bullets and tear gas; dozens reportedly collapsed after being overcome by the gas. Sunday’s edition of the newspaper featured a new propagandistic, pro-government line, while former Zaman staff launched a new paper of their own. Zaman’s former editor-in-chief Abdülhamit Bilici, who was fired in the takeover, said it was a dark period for Turkey.

Abdülhamit Bilici: “Unfortunately, it has been a habit for the last three, four years that anyone who is speaking against the government policies is facing either court cases or prison or such control by the government. And I think this is a dark period for our country, for our democracy. But I don’t think that this dark period will continue. It cannot be sustained, and it cannot be continued.”

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