Typical Zaman front page
|Headquarters||Fevzi Cakmak Mah.
A. Taner Kislali Cad. No:6
Zaman (literally "time" or "era" in Turkish), sometimes stylized as ZAMAN, is a major, high-circulation daily newspaper in Turkey. It was founded in 1986 and was the first Turkish daily to go online in 1995. It contains national (Turkish), international, business, and other news. It also has many regular columnists who cover current affairs, interviews, and a culture section.
Zaman is known to be strongly related to the Gülen movement of the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, but Gülen himself is not the owner. It is a conservative newspaper which has a moderate Islamic worldview. Although it declares itself as in support of democracy and secularism, Zaman is generally regarded as Islamic, or Islamist, by most sources.
In addition to four locations in Turkey, regional editions are printed and distributed in Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Germany, Romania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Turkmenistan, and the US. Zaman bureaus and correspondents are located in major world capitals and cities like Washington DC, New York, Brussels, Moscow, Cairo, Baku, Frankfurt, Ashgabat, Tashkent, and Bucharest.
Special international editions are distributed in the native alphabets and languages of the countries they are published. Zaman has prints in 10 different languages including Kyrgyz, Romanian, Bulgarian, Azeri, Uzbek, Turkmen and Kazakh. Originally also having an English-language edition, since January 16, 2007, that role has been taken over by the English-language daily newspaper Today's Zaman.
Zaman headquarters in Istanbul is supported by news bureaus in Ashgabat, Baku, Brussels, Bucharest, Frankfurt, Moscow, New York, and Washington, DC. Zaman also appears to have a large network of foreign journalists, especially in Russia and Central Asia.
Current position and awards
Its circulation is about 890,000, highest in Turkey as of 2008. The total paid circulation of Zaman was verified by an independent Media Auditing company, BPA Worldwide, after accusations that the newspaper is being handed out freely to gain market share. The audition report was released to public in March 2007, and revealed that Zaman' circulation was 609,865 between Monday–Saturday, and 678,027 on Sundays, without any non-paid circulation. BPA audit figures also showed that Zaman has one of the largest subscriber bases of a national newspaper in Europe.
Zaman has been awarded several times for its design, including Society for News Design (SND). Zaman's SND awards tally includes 3 in 2003, 5 in 2004, 2005, 2006, 20 in 2007, 42 in 2008, and 23 in 2009.
The circulation of Zaman as of January 2014 is more than 1 million, while other newspapers saw mixed results between increase and decrease in circulation.
The newspaper founders have a widely known ambition of reaching 1 million subscribers, an important threshold in terms of setting the tone in the country affairs. In some cases, it was close to getting 900,000 in daily sales, but 1 million still remains as a target. Several newspaper columnists, notably Kerim Balci, have written in their columns about this target encouraging the readers to find new subscribers for the newspaper.
In May 2011, Zaman surpassed its 1 million subscription target, though some newspapers criticized that quantity of the subscriptions are inflated. According to the claims, the members of the Gülen movement are asked or instructed to purchase multiple subscriptions of the newspaper (e.g. one individual having five of the same Zaman edition being delivered to his house) in order to artificially inflate the circulation of the newspaper.
The newspaper's editor-in-chief Ekrem Dumanlı is known as the major brainpower behind Zaman after Fethullah Gülen. The newspaper has attracted number of famous columnists both from liberal and conservative wings of thought.
A columnist had to resign from the newspaper on December 3, 2013 due to non-compliance with editorial line of opposing to the ruling party of Turkey and pressure from editors of the newspaper. The incident caused criticism of the newspaper as standing against freedom of expression.
Zaman was the first Turkish newspaper to set up online version in 1995. Since then, the website has gone through several redesigns, the latest at the end of 2010, and is now positioned as a news portal.
December 2014 crackdown
On 14 December 2014 Turkish police arrested more than two dozen senior journalists and media executives on charges of "forming, leading and being a member of an armed terrorist organization." Among those now detained was Ekrem Dumanli, editor-in-chief of Zaman. The arrested are people associated with the Gülen movement. The Turkish government accuses the movement of infiltrating the police and judiciary.
Police arriving at 7.30 a.m. at the newspaper's office were greeted by scores of protesters shouting "a free media cannot be silenced." They had mounted a vigil after tweets from "Fuatavni" - a reliable but anonymous source - had warned of the raid. Police retreated only to reappear in the afternoon when Dumanli gave himself up voluntarily.
A statement by the US State Department cautioned Turkey not to violate its "own democratic foundations" while drawing attention to raids against media outlets "openly critical of the current Turkish government."EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said that the arrests went "against European values" and "are incompatible with the freedom of media, which is a core principle of democracy".
On 19 December 2014 a court ordered that Dumanlı and seven others to be released due to lack of evidence. Thousands gathered outside Çağlayan Courthouse in İstanbul to show support for the detained journalists and police officials. While crowds celebrated the release of Dumanlı in the courtyard of the courthouse, they protested the arrest order for Samanyolu TV General Manager Hidayet Karaca and former police chiefs Tufan Ergüder, Ertan Erçıktı and Mustafa Kılıçaslan.
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- Asharq Alawsat
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- "SND Winners". SND official web page. Retrieved 20 July 2009.[dead link]
- Weekly circulation report for Turkish newspapers - Source: Yaysat
- "Do you really read Zaman ?" (in Turkish).
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- "In Turkey, police arrest journalists and executives". CNN. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
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- "Court rules for release of Zaman chief editor, Samanyolu manager arrested". Today's Zaman. Retrieved 19 December 2014.