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Turkey: Riot police storm largest newspaper after govt seizure

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Authorities in Turkey have clamped down on one of the countries biggest newspapers hours after a court placed it under the management of a board of trustees.

Scores of riot policemen stormed the newspaper premises firing tear gas and water canons at hundreds of protesters after the seizure of Zaman’s headquarters in Istanbul.

Read also: Turkey frees journalist accused of terrorism

Prosecutors accused the newspaper which is Turkey’s largest circulating tabloid and its affiliates of praising and helping what they called a “terrorist organisation”.

“It has been a habit for the last three, four years, that anyone who is speaking against government policies is facing either court cases or prison, or such control by the government,” said Abdulhamit Bilici, editor-in-chief of Zaman.

“This is a dark period for our country, our democracy.”

The daily is associated with a movement led by US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, an influential political opponent of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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