March 17, 2016 / 7:58 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. 'troubled' by Turkish authorities' shutting down of free press

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Thursday criticized Turkish authorities’ regulation of the media after a series of government steps against the press, including the seizure of Zaman, the country’s top-selling newspaper.

Riot police use tear gas to disperse protesting employees and supporters of Zaman newspaper at the courtyard of the newspaper's office in Istanbul, Turkey March 5, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the United States is “troubled” by Turkish government officials acting to “shut down and interfere with editorial operations” of media outlets.

“You should not prompt changes to the newsroom or to a news organization’s editorial policies,” he told the daily press briefing.

“We call on the Turkish government to ensure full respect for due process and equal treatment under the law, and in a democratic society, critical opinions should be encouraged not silenced,” he said.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Writing by Clarece Polke

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