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Under the Ottoman Empire, official messages were regularly distributed at mosques, by traveling holy men, and by secular criers. These criers were sent to read official announcements in marketplaces, highways, and other well-traveled places, sometimes issuing commands and penalties for disobedience.

The spread of news has always been linked to the communications networks in place to disseminate it. Thus, political, religious, and commercial interests have historically controlled, expanded, and monitored communications channels by which news could spread. Postal services have long been closely entwined with the maintenance of political power in a large area.