Doğan Media Group Director General Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ has stepped down from his post after leaked emails belonging to Berat Albayrak, energy minister and the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, showed he was acting as the government and Erdoğan’s “man” within the Doğan Media Group.
RedHack, a Turkish Marxist hacker group, seized the email account of Albayrak last Friday and began to disclose dozens of emails on Monday after its demand for the release of pro-Kurdish and leftist writers in prison went unheeded. Albayrak’s leaked emails include those sent to him by Yalçındağ.
In the emails that were allegedly sent by Yalçındağ to Albayrak, Yalçındağ gives Albayrak a daily briefing on the media group’s activities and how they cover certain developments in favor of the government.
Issuing a written statement on Friday, Yalçındağ said some circles are engaged in efforts to defame the Doğan Media Group by targeting him.
“This is an ugly act of dishonesty,” he said about the leaked emails.
Honorary chairman of the Doğan Media Group Aydın Doğan also made a statement on Friday and said Yalçındağ had to quit his job, which he performed with “self-sacrifice and success” from the beginning of this year, in order to prevent any misunderstanding.
Speaking to the Cumhuriyet daily on Wednesday about the leaked emails Yalçındağ denied having written the controversial emails to Albrayrak.
“An assassination, a conspiracy, I don’t know what to say… My computer was hacked and my diaries were seized,” he said.
Yalçındağ said somebody had access to his computer and his daily notes without his knowledge and sent them as emails to Albayrak, making additions to them and manipulating them.
Yalçındağ also told Cumhuriyet that Russian computer experts had begun investigating how his computer was hacked and that he would make a public statement once the investigation is completed.
Yalçındağ is married to media boss Aydın Doğan’s daughter Arzuhan Doğan Yalçındağ.