Turkey Seizes Most Popular Newspaper, Claiming ‘Terror Ties’

Court Approves Govt 'Trustees' to Run Paper

Turkish media company Feza Gazetecilik, publishers of the nation’s most widely circulated newspaper the Zaman, was forcibly taken over by Turkish police today, after an Istanbul Court signed off on a call to take over the group as a “terrorist organization.”

President Erdogan has been labeling most critical press as “terrorists” as a matter of course lately,, and in the case of Zaman the resentment goes back to the paper’s reporting on a 2013 corruption scandal which nearly ousted Erdogan, and which he only survived after expelling several judges and accusing the whole thing of being a “coup plot.”

After the police takeover, the court has approved the operation of the papers to be taken over by a group of government-appointed “trustees.” The move was condemned by existing staff at the paper, and also by several international free press groups.

The Erdogan government has become increasingly intolerant of any indication of dissent, with the Justice Ministry revealing earlier this week that in the past 18 months since Erdogan’s installation as president, over 1,800 people have been charged with criminal offenses related to “insulting the president.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.