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Turkey Criticized Over Media Raids

Turkish police have staged a series of raids on media outlets said to have close links with opposition parties.

At least 24 people were arrested in the December 14 raids, facing charges ranging from "using intimidation and threats" to "forming a gang to try to seize state sovereignty," "forgery," and "slander."

Those arrested included the editor-in-chief of “Zaman” newspaper and the chairman of Samanyolu television station, which have ties to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, a bitter opponent of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said the arrests went "against European values."

The U.S. State Department urged Turkish authorities to ensure their actions do not violate media freedom and other democratic values.

The U.S.-based rights organization Freedom House issued a statement that read, "These arrests appear to be government retribution against journalists reporting on corruption and criticizing the government."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP