On Friday evening the Turkish authorities seized the Istanbul headquarters offices of Zaman, Turkey’s largest circulation newspaper and one of the most outspokenly critical voices in the Turkish media. The action was taken on the basis of a court decision which failed to provide any proper evidence to justify taking the newspaper into forced administration.
The Association of European Journalists (AEJ) condemns this blatant attack on press freedom. The authorities‘ abuse of Turkey’s anti-terrorism laws to brand the work of journalists and otherr critical voics as assisting terrorism is absurd and must be ended at once. The Turkish government’s actions inarbitrarily arresting and imprisoning dozens of journalists, and interfering in the management and editorial policies of media organisaions, contradict Turkey’s international commitments and undermines its claims to be considered as a democracy.