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France Claims Turkish Seizure of Opposition Media Violates European Values

© REUTERS / Akif Talha Sertturk/Zaman DailyRiot police scuffle with employees at the headquarters of Zaman newspaper in Istanbul, Turkey, late March 4, 2016
Riot police scuffle with employees at the headquarters of Zaman newspaper in Istanbul, Turkey, late March 4, 2016 - Sputnik International
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French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called the Turkish government’s seizure of Feza Media Group "unacceptable" and urged Turks to respect media pluralism.

PARIS(Sputnik) — The Turkish government’s seizure of Feza Media Group was unacceptable as it is contrary to European values, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Monday.

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland. File photo - Sputnik International
Council of Europe Urges Turkey to Protect Press Freedom
On Friday, a Turkish court ordered Feza Media Group, which includes opposition newspaper Zaman, Today’s Zaman daily and the Cihan news agency, to be placed under the management of government trustees. The decision resulted in mass protests in Turkey's largest city, Istanbul. On Saturday, Turkish police used tear gas, water cannons and plastic bullets to disperse the protesters.

"It is unacceptable. You cannot wish to be closer to European standards and at the same time not to respect media pluralism. This is obvious and we have clearly stated this to the Turks," Ayrault told the broadcaster France Inter.

Ankara's move has been widely criticized by a number of countries, including the United States and Russia, as well as by the European Union and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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