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Erdogan Responsible for Seizure of Zaman Media Group - RSF

© AP Photo / Presidential Press Service/Kayhan OzerTurkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addresses local administrators at his palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016
Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addresses local administrators at his palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan bears responsibility for the government attempts to gain control of the Zaman media group, a secretary general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said Friday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, a Turkish court ordered the country’s opposition newspaper Zaman that is reportedly linked to the movement of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, which is outlawed in Turkey, to be placed under the management of government trustees.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) speaks with US President Barack Obama (L) during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Turkey Leaders Summit in Antalya. (File) - Sputnik International
US Calls on Turkey to Respect Due Process Amid 'Troubling' Media Crackdown
"The Turkish presidential office’s interference in the media has reached a new level… It is absolutely illegitimate and intolerable that Erdogan has used the judicial system to take control of a great newspaper in order to eliminate the Gulen community’s political base," Christophe Deloire said, as quoted by the RSF.

He added that the move showed that Erdogan was moving from "authoritarianism" to "all-out despotism."

Turkey ranks 149th out of 180 in the RSF 2015 press freedom index.

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