Turkish police storm opposition media group

Turkish riot police firing tear gas and water cannon stormed on Wednesday into the Istanbul headquarters of a media group critical of the government.

Istanbul: Turkish riot police firing tear gas and water cannon stormed on Wednesday into the Istanbul headquarters of a media group critical of the government, just days before a weekend election.

The move followed a controversial court ruling ordering the seizure of the conglomerate linked to US-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, regarded as the nemesis of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Images of the police action, which saw officers smash through the gates of the compound with chainsaws, were broadcast live on the group's television stations, Bugun and Kanalturk.

An Ankara court on Monday appointed a board of trustees to manage the Koza-Ipek Group, seizing its 21 companies, including its media operations, as part of a crackdown on Gulen's followers.

The move triggered demonstrations in both Ankara and Istanbul yesterday, with protesters chanting: "We will not be silenced."

The United States also weighed in to the controversy, voicing concern about media freedom in Turkey.

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