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3/5/16

Turkey: Zaman newspaper: Defiant last edition as Turkey police raid

Turkey's biggest newspaper, Zaman, has condemned its takeover by the authorities in a defiant last edition published just before police raided it.

Saturday's edition said Turkey's press had experienced "one of the darkest days in its history".

Turkish police raided Zaman's offices hours after a court ruling placed it under state control, but managers were still able to get the edition to print.

Zaman readers have protested against the takeover outside the offices.

Police dispersed the demonstration, numbering about 500 people, with tear gas and water cannon. The newspaper's supporters chanted "Free press cannot be silenced".

A number of the journalists returned to work on Saturday, but some of them tweeted that:
  • they had lost access to internal servers and were not able to file articles
  • they were not able to access their email accounts
  • the newspaper's editor-in-chief Abdulhamit Bilici and a leading columnist had been fired
One reporter, Abdullah Bozturk, said attempts were also under way to wipe the newspaper's entire online archive.

The European Union's response has been to issue weak statements of concern, the BBC's Mark Lowen says.

It is accused of acting softly on Turkey as it needs the country's support in managing the refugee crisis.

Read more:  Zaman newspaper: Defiant last edition as Turkey police raid - BBC News

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