19:47 GMT03 August 2021
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    Turkey’s Cihan news agency was placed under state control and access to the agency was blocked, according to Turkish opposition media.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Turkey’s Cihan news agency, part of the Feza Publications media conglomerate whose Zaman opposition newspaper offices have been raided in Istanbul, was placed under state control, Today’s Zaman reported Saturday.

    The latest move follows Friday’s court order to place Zaman and Feza’s other outlets under the management of government trustees.

    "Cihan, the only news agency that was monitoring elections besides state-run Anadolu, now under trustee control," Today’s Zaman tweeted.

    ​It added that trustees blocked access to the agency after the takeover.

    Turkey's clampdown on journalists and restrictions on freedom of speech have been criticized by the international community, including the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, Russia and the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) organization.

    RSF ranks Turkey 149th out of 180 countries in press freedom.

    Earlier on Saturday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called on Western powers to press Turkish leadership to comply with European and international commitments toward freedom of expression and the media.

    European Parliament President Martin Schulz said he intended to raise the press crackdown issue with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at the EU-Turkey summit on Monday.


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