Turkey’s Demirören Media to be sold to Turkuvaz-Azerbaijani partnership: report

A woman waits near the gate of the Hurriyet newspaper's headquarters at the Dogan media group complex in Istanbul on March 22, 2018. A top Turkish businessman with close ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to buy Turkey's largest media holding, a statement said on March 22, raising fears of a new tightening of government control on the press. Dogan Holding said in a statement that talks had begun on the sale of Dogan Media Group to the Demiroren Group of magnate Erdogan Demiroren for around $1 billion (810 million euros). / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

A partnership between pro-Turkish-government media group Turkuvaz and the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) will purchase the Demirören Media Group, according to a report on the medyaradar news website.

The purchase is being managed by Turkuvaz Media Group Deputy Chairman Serhat Albayrak, the brother of Berat Albayrak, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law and Turkey’s finance minister.

The Doğan Media Group, which was Turkey’s largest media company, was sold to the Demirören Group in 2018 for $675 million. There are reports that Demirören has suffered financial losses due to the declining circulation and popularity of the former Doğan newspapers and TV stations.

Doğan had sold the Milliyet and Vatan dailies, which have a strongly pro-government editorial policy, to Demirören in 2001.

With the last sale, Demirören assumed the ownership of a number of media outlets including Kanal D, CNN Türk, Tv2, Dream TV, Dream Türk, Hürriyet, Posta, Fanatik, the Hürriyet Daily News, TME, Doğan Burda Dergi, Doğan Egmont, Doğan Kitap and Dergi Pazarlama ve Planlama (DPP).

If the Turkuvaz Media Group assumes ownership of the Demirören media outlets, it will have established a media monopoly in Turkey.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which has taken over or closed down hundreds of media outlets in the country including Turkey’s best-selling newspaper, Zaman, and has jailed around 200 journalists due to their critical views since a failed coup in 2016, is criticized for silencing the free press in the country.

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