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Turkish Journalist Fears For Safety, Moves To Belgium

A Turkish journalist whose newspaper was taken over by the state this month has moved to Belgium, a news report said on Monday.
Sevgi Akarcesme, the former editor-in-chief of Today’s Zaman, said by telephone from Brussels, adding that she feared for her safety amid a crackdown on opposition voices.

“I am not going back to Turkey any time soon, until it becomes a safe country for journalists,’’ Akarcesme said.
The news report said that Zaman and its English-language sister paper, along with the affiliated Cihan news agency, were taken over by the state, with police using tear gas to storm the building.

The once-critical paper then began to run headlines in favour of President Tayyip Erdogan.
It added that armed police had continued to occupy the building where the paper is published.

“Under Erdogan any journalist can be detained or blocked from traveling abroad, I am concerned about my situation,’’ Akarcesme said.
However, she denied reports she was seeking asylum in Europe.

Zaman is seen as a media outlet affiliated with the movement of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Islamic preacher who was once an ally of the Turkish government but fell from grace with Erdogan in recent years.

It stressed that the government has pushed the line that the preacher’s movement, known as Hizmet (Service), is a terrorist group.
Officials from the EU, which Turkey has been trying to join for decades, were critical of the takeover, the latest move against opposition outlets.

The officials have moved ahead, in spite of their condemnations, while EU was inking a migration deal with Turkey as at Thursday.
Erdogan continued to insist the media in Turkey is free, in spite growing concerns about arrests and takeovers.
Report says Turkey consistently ranks low of press freedom indices.

“We are not fighting against democracy but against terrorism, not against freedom but terrorists, not against human rights but terror acts,’’ Erdogan said on Monday. (dpa/NAN)

The post Turkish Journalist Fears For Safety, Moves To Belgium appeared first on Nigerian News from Leadership News.

This post was syndicated from Nigerian News from Leadership News. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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