Turkish police yesterday used tear gas against approximately 500 protesters who gathered outside the editorial offices of Zaman, the country's most popular newspaper. A Turkish court ruled that Zaman must be placed under state control, though today's issue was printed before the judgement took effect.
Zaman's front-page headline today is "ANAYASA ASKIDA" ("constitution suspended"), denouncing the government's apparent disregard for constitutional guarantees of press freedom. Its English-language sister paper, Today's Zamat, has an equally damning headline: "SHAMEFUL DAY FOR FREE PRESS IN TURKEY".
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has a long history of suppressing any criticism of his leadership. He filed lawusits against Cumhuriyet in 2004 and Penguen magazine in 2005. Artist Matthew Dickinson was charged with insulting Erdogan in 2006, and charged again shortly afterwards. Two Penguen cartoonists were convicted of insulting Erdoğan last year, and Nokta magazine was shut down following its Photoshopped image of Erdoğan.