Accessibility links

Breaking News


A privately owned Turkish news agency, Cihan, says Turkey's government has seized control of its offices amid a widening crackdown on supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric who opposes President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Cihan agency said on its website site late on March 7 that an Istanbul court would appoint an administrator to run the news agency at the request of a state prosecutor.

The U.S. State Department on March 8 said the seizure of Cihan was "just another example of an unnecessary crackdown on journalism."

Earlier in March, Turkish authorities seized the country's largest circulation newspaper, Zaman.

The seizure of Zaman was an issue raised during Turkey's summit with EU leaders in Brussels on March 7.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the seizure of Zaman was "unacceptable" and was a violation of European values.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Cihan

Ukraine's government has retracted the recent appointment of Adrian Bukovynskiy to the post of family ombudsman after activists complained he is biased against homosexuals.

Bukovynskiy's appointment to the post had been announced on February 24.

But the Ukrainian government's website announced on March 8 that Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was reopening a search to fill the post.

The website said Bukovynskiy was never confirmed as the government's family ombudsman because he failed to pass a background check.

Bukovynskiy's nomination sparked harsh criticism from gay rights activists in Ukraine who compiled material from 2013 showing he had publicly expressed "homophobic" views.

Those statements included calls to defend "traditional values," as well as condemnation of laws protecting the rights of gays in the European Union and the United States.

Bukovynskiy also publicly defended legislation in Russia banning what lawmakers there have deemed as "gay propaganda."

Bukovynskiy had said he would endorse a similar law in Ukraine.

With reporting by

Load more

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More