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    Demonstrators hold copies of pro-Kurdish newspaper Ozgur Gundem as they a protest against the arrest of three prominent activists for press freedom in Istanbul. (File)

    Reporters Without Borders Urges Turkey to End Closure of Pro-Kurdish Daily

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    The Turkish government should end the closure of the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Ozgur Gundem, Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk head Johann Bihr said in a release on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON, August 17 (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, an Istanbul court ordered the temporarily closure of Ozgur Gundem on the grounds that the newspaper acts as propaganda machine for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkey considers the PKK to be a terrorist organization and has outlawed it.

    "This unacceptable measure has dealt a new blow to pluralism and sent a strong intimidating signal to all journalists in Turkey. We call on the authorities to lift the measures taken against Ozgur Gundem," Bihr stated.

    Bihr maintained that closing a media outlet is the most extreme form of censorship, which shows the government’s determination to gag instead of challenging the newspaper’s editorial policies.

    Turkey's crackdown on journalists and imposition of restrictions on media freedoms have been condemned by the United States, the European Union and other entities.

    Turkey ranks 151st out of 180 countries in the RSF 2016 Press Freedom Index.

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    press freedom, Ozgur Gundem, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Johann Bihr, Turkey
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