Turkish gov’t puts seized Zaman daily’s printing presses up for sale

Printing presses that once produced daily copies of the Zaman newspaper and its affiliates have been put up for sale by the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF).

Two newspaper printing presses, 2 CTP machines and one packaging line that were seized from the now-defunct Feza Gazetecilik media group were listed to be sold at an estimated total of TL 3 million [$670,000], according to a recent announcement by the TMSF.

Feza Gazetecilik was the parent company of Zaman and Today’s Zaman newspapers, one-time best-selling newspapers in Turkey, as well as of the Aksiyon magazine until it was closed down by the government in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Turkey is ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Wednesday. If Turkey falls two more places, it will make it to the list of countries on the blacklist, which have the poorest record in press freedom.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 253 journalists and media workers were in jail as of May 11, 2018, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 192 were under arrest pending trial while only 61 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 142 journalists who are living in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down some 200 media outlets, including Kurdish news agencies and newspapers, after the coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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