In the latest crackdown on Turkey's media, authorities this week raided and seized control of the largest daily newspaper: Zaman, its sister publication, Today's Zaman, and the Cihan news agency.

The takeover, which was backed by the country's courts, was the latest blow in a long-running and deeply personal saga between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen, a 74-year-old Islamic leader based in the US, has been a vocal critic and political opponent of Erdogan and is closely affiliated with the anti-Erdogan Zaman newspaper.

Erdogan has repeatedly accused Gulen of trying to overthrow the government, but Gulen has denied the allegations.

The crackdown comes at an already worrying time for press freedom with several media outlets in Turkey also being targeted. Last year, two editors from the Cumhuriyet newspaper were accused of treason over their story which alleged that Turkey was arming rebel fighters in Syria. When the country's highest court ordered their release from jail, Erdogan announced that he would not respect the ruling, setting the stage for a showdown between the government, the courts and the media.

Talking us through the story are: Sevgi Akarcesme, editor-in-chief of Today's Zaman; Banu Guven, a TV anchor for IMC; Jane Kandur, a columnist with Daily Saba; and Asli Tunc, a professor at Istanbul Bilgi University.


Other media stories on our radar this week: Hassan Hanafi, once a respected broadcaster in Somalia was sentenced to death for colluding with al-Shabab in the murder of six fellow journalists; the Thai government has dropped a legal case against a photojournalist who was arrested last year for carrying a flak jacket and a helmet through the airport in Bangkok; and in the US, the Washington Post has been criticised over its coverage of Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.


On President Erdogan's radar: An interview with Can Dundar

Ten months ago, Turkey's Cumhuriyet newspaper published a story about Turkish intelligence trucks allegedly carrying weapons to rebels in Syria.

The story didn't go down well with the government and Can Dündar, the Cumhuriyet's editor-in-chief and his Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gul, were charged with espionage, revealing classified information and membership in a terrorist organisation.

The two men spent three months in prison before a Constitutional Court ruling set them free however the president has made it clear that the case is not closed.

The Listening Post's Richard Gizbert talks to journalist Can Dundar about the Turkish government's steamrolling of the press, the reporting that landed him in jail, and why he is still on President Erdogan's radar.


Recipe videos tend to go viral so Red Sky studios, a post-production company based in Alabama, adopted the same approach for their video about film production. It's called 'Recipe for disaster' and shows what's needed to bake 'your epic film'. The difficulty level is very hard. The cooking time is months, sometimes years or forever. And yes, their video did go viral.

Source: Al Jazeera