Saturday 24 March 2018

Turkish newspaper takes pro-government stance in first edition since seizure

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan Photo: Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan Photo: Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde Newsdesk Newsdesk

TURKEY'S largest-circulation newspaper has adopted a more pro-government line in its first edition since a court ordered it to be seized, a move which has heightened fears over deteriorating media freedom in the country.

Police stormed the headquarters of the Zaman opposition newspaper on Friday to enforce a court decision to place it and its sister outlets under the management of trustees.

The step sparked two days of protests which police dispersed using tear gas and water cannons.

The newspaper was linked to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's top foe, the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. Its take-over is part of a wider state crackdown on his movement.

The newspaper's top story on Sunday described how Mr Erdogan attended a ceremony marking a key phase in the construction of a bridge in Istanbul.

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