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HRW says Zaman takeover aims to eradicate opposition, calls on Turkish gov’t to reverse it

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The Human Rights Watch (HRW) said a ruling by an İstanbul court to appoint trustees to Turkey’s largest media group, Feza Media Group, is the yet another attempt by the government to eradicate opposition by silencing critical media, calling on authorities to reverse the action.

“The Istanbul court’s decision to appoint trustees to run Zaman newspaper and other media is nothing but a veiled move by the president to eradicate opposition media and scrutiny of government policies,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, HRW’s senior Turkey researcher. “This deplorable ruling, which follows the blocking of two critical TV stations, is the latest blow to free speech in Turkey.”

Stating that the ruling is the latest attempt by Turkey’s president and government to silence critical media, HRW said the appointment of trustees over the Feza Media Group, which includes Zaman newspaper, Today’s Zaman and the Cihan News Agency, amounts to a government takeover of the media group.

“The government should immediately reverse the action, Human Rights Watch said. On the evening of March 4, police raided the building and used teargas on people who had assembled outside to protest the takeover.

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