ANKARA, Turkey — The European Union is facing increasing pressure to speak out against the erosion of media freedom in Turkey following the takeover of the country’s largest newspaper, but few expect it to take a bold stance toward Ankara while trying to assure its help in dealing with the migration crisis.

Police used tear gas and water cannons for a second day running on Saturday to disperse hundreds of protesters who gathered outside the headquarters of Zaman newspaper – now surrounded by police fences. Police stormed the building on Friday to enforce the court-ordered seizure of the publication, which is linked to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foe, U.S.-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The protesters chanted “free press cannot be silenced” and “Zaman cannot be silenced” as riot police fired tear gas.

The Istanbul court’s appointment of trustees to manage Zaman and its sister outlets raised alarm bells over the deterioration of rights conditions in the NATO member nation, which also aspires for EU membership, just days before a March 7 meeting, in which EU leaders will try to convince Turkey to do more to curtail the flow of migrants traveling to Europe.

Saturday’s edition of the English-language Today’s Zaman, published before the forced takeover, printed its front page in black with the headline: “Shameful day for free press in Turkey.”

Zaman’s seizure was part of a crackdown on Gulen’s movement, which the government claims is attempting to topple it. Authorities accuse the movement of infiltrating police and the judiciary as part of an effort to bring down the government.