05:08 GMT31 July 2021
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    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the Feza Media Group is accused of money laundering activities and is linked to the movement of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, which is outlawed in Turkey.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Sunday that the government has not been involved in the process of seizure of the Feza media group, adding that it is based on court's decision.

    On Friday, a Turkish court ordered the 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 move resulted in mass protest in the largest Turkey's city of Istanbul. On Saturday, Turkish police used tear gas, water cannons and plastic bullets to disperse the protests.

    "Our government is not involved in the issue. The decisions made by the judicial bodies have been implemented. It is entirely legal process. No one should have any doubts as for press freedom in Turkey," Davutoglu told Turkish Ahaber TV channel.

    He added that the newspaper is accused of money laundering activities and is linked to the movement of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, which is outlawed in Turkey.

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

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


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