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Police, protesters clash in Turkey over newspaper seizure

Saturday, March 05, 2016 - 01:18

Turkish police in Istanbul turn tear gas and water cannons on protesters after the government seizes the country's largest newspaper. Diane Hodges reports.

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Turkish police aimed water cannons and tear gas at some 2,000 demonstrators who had gathered outside the offices of the country's biggest newspaper on Saturday to protest its seizure by the government. Dozens of people were overcome by the gas and collapsed as they tried to flee. (UPSOT OF CHANTING) The demonstration began peacefully, with an appearance by the editor-in-chief of the Zaman newspaper, and came one day after a Turkish court appointed a state administrator to run the flagship paper and its English-language sister publication, Today's Zaman, an action that left many readers angry. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) READER OF ZAMAN NEWSPAPER, MUSTAFA CALISAN, SAYING: "Nobody can impose such a cruel measure in any part of the world. Where in the world have you seen this tyranny before?" The papers are affiliated with the U.S.-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who the government accuses of plotting a coup. It's part of an ongoing struggle between Gulen and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. Rights groups and European officials criticized the confiscation of both papers. The crackdown on Zaman comes at an already worrying time for press freedom in Turkey, with concerns mounting that the government is stifling critical media.

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Police, protesters clash in Turkey over newspaper seizure

Saturday, March 05, 2016 - 01:18