February 7, 2014
A Turkish newspaper said on Friday one of its journalists had been ordered to leave the country for criticizing Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Twitter, raising concerns about media freedom a day after Turkey tightened internet controls.
Today’s Zaman said its online editor Mahir Zeynalov, 27, from Azerbaijan, was escorted onto a plane in Istanbul by police. The paper is close to influential U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, locked in a feud with Erdogan revolving around a corruption scandal shaking his government.
Erdogan has cast the scandal as a bid by Gulen, who exerts extensive if covert influence in the police and judiciary, to unseat him and has responded by purging thousands of officers and more than 200 prosecutors. Gulen denies the accusation.