A Turkish city has canceled plans to bestow a rare honor on a former New York Times journalist because of an article in which he criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Stephen Kinzer was scheduled to be made an honorary citizen of the southern city of Gaziantep this week in recognition of his work that helped save Roman mosaics that were threatened by flooding from a dam.

Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Sahin confirmed on Twitter Thursday that her office decided not to honor Kinzer because of "unjust allegations against our president in his writings."

The decision is the latest in a series of moves by Turkish authorities to crack down on free expression and punish critical voices.

Dozens of people are on trial in Turkey for insulting Erdogan.