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Turkey's Government Seizes Private News Agency, Cihan

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