English-language Today’s Zaman daily’s Ankara representative, Abdullah Bozkurt, has said he was dismissed by the new administration of Feza Media Group, which was taken over by trustees in early March in a government-backed move.
“#Turkey gov’t 1st seized my paper on March 4, placed partisans to manage it, run the business to the ground & today fired me from my job,” Bozkurt tweeted on Tuesday.
#Turkey gov’t henchmen who have taken over #Zaman with police violence decided to cancel my contract as expected. pic.twitter.com/j1qBTentIE
— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) March 29, 2016
Bozkurt’s firing followed the dismissal of the daily’s managing editor, Celil Sağır on Monday.
Also on Tuesday, the trustees fired Zaman daily’s Deputy Editor-in-Chief Bülent Korucu and Foreign news editor Mustafa Edib Yılmaz and Managing Editor Mehmet Özdemir.
Today’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief Sevgi Akarçeşme was earlier removed from her post.
All of the journalists were fired based on Article 11 of the Turkish Press Labor Law, which deprives the journalists from getting their severance pay.
On March 4, an İstanbul court appointed trustees — Sezai Şengönül, Tahsin Kaplan and Metin İlhan — to take over the management of the Feza Media Group the Zaman daily, as well as the Today’s Zaman daily and the Cihan news agency, dealing a fresh blow to the already battered media freedom in Turkey.
Turkish police fired tear gas and used water cannon on a crowd to forcibly enter the country’s top-selling newspaper around on Friday night following the court’s order of confiscation.