5-speed listening (Level 5)

Turkey takes over biggest newspaper






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Turkish police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon against protestors outside the offices of a national newspaper. The demonstrators were protesting against the takeover of a newspaper by Turkey's government. Authorities seized control of the company that owns Turkey's best-selling newspaper Zaman. It once supported President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but then became a fierce critic. Authorities say Zaman has links to a US-based Muslim cleric, who the government says plotted a coup to oust President Erdogan. Commentators say it is a blow for freedom in Turkey.

The takeover of Zaman has sparked concerns in Europe about Turkey joining the European Union. An EU spokesperson said it threatened recent progress made by Turkey. Germany's foreign affairs committee said, "the violent action against a critical newspaper" and "the fact that the government takes over the whole paper is a severe blow…against the freedom of press". The editor-in-chief of Zaman's English newspaper said: "Our [final] headline is about us again, and that should give an idea about the kind of democracy in the country. There's no rule of law left in Turkey."

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