Turkey police fire plastic bullets at opposition paper rally

Turkey police fire plastic bullets at opposition paper rally
PHOTO: Reuters

Turkish riot police on Saturday fired plastic bullets and tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who gathered outside an opposition newspaper the day after it was seized by authorities in a violent raid.

"Free press cannot be silenced," the protesters shouted.

Police used large amounts of tear gas, water cannon and plastic bullets to disperse the crowd of around 500 protesters outside the Istanbul premises of Zaman daily, an AFP photographer at the scene reported.

Zaman, closely linked to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's arch-foe the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, was ordered into administration by the court on the request of Istanbul prosecutors.

Police also fired the tear gas and water cannon late Friday to move away a hundreds-strong crowd that had formed outside the newspaper offices, following the court order placing the media business under administration.

On Saturday, a crowd of protesters gathered outside the building, holding the latest edition of the newspaper in a show of solidarity while the newspaper's employees entered the building under police scrutiny.

The court order was aroused the concern of the United States and the European Union ahead of a crucial summit in Brussels between the EU and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday.

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