Turkish Newspaper ‘Zaman’ to Continue Opposition Activities in Germany

Turkish Newspaper ‘Zaman’ to Continue Opposition Activities in Germany
Tue Mar 8, 2016 10:28:23

Top selling Turkey’s newspaper, Zaman, will continue its opposition activities in Germany after being taken over by the government in its home country, says Zaman Almanya's editor-in-chief.

“As of today we are printing a version of Zaman that has nothing to do with Zaman there (in Turkey) because it has been forcibly taken over by the state," said Zaman Almanya (Zaman Germany) editor-in-chief Sueleyman Bag in an interview with Reuters on Monday.

Monday's edition of the Germany-based daily featured a black front page topped with “The constitution is abolished” as a headline. It has around 14,000 subscribers in Germany which is home to three million Turks.

The opposition newspaper’s website on Monday sported the picture of a woman holding her hand against her bleeding face in front of the newspaper's main offices in Istanbul, which were stormed by Turkish authorities on Friday to enforce a court ruling to place it and its subsidiary outlets under the management of trustees.

"We will print an independent newspaper. We still have not addressed the question of how we do that. This is a new challenge for us," added Bag.

The paper’s takeover triggered massive nationwide protests, which police violently quashed with water cannons and teargas.

Zaman, a longtime critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, warned of the "darkest days" in the history of the Turkish press in its last edition before its takeover. The following edition, however, featured a picture of Erdogan holding the hand of an elderly woman on the front page.

Large numbers of rights groups and EU officials have slammed the seizure, saying it greatly infringes on press freedom. EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and French President Francois Hollande are among the takeover critics.

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