Turkish newspaper acquired by pro-gov’t group lays off scores of employees

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Turkey’s prominent Hürriyet newspaper, which was purchased last year by the pro-government Demirören group, has laid off nearly 50 employees including correspondents, editors and writers, the Diken news website reported on Wednesday.

The decision was made by the owners rather than management, and even Executive Editor Vahap Munyar only became aware of it upon a phone call from one of the employees who was dismissed, according to the report.

The e-mail accounts of the employees were immediately shut down, and they lost access to the newspaper’s computer system.

Serkan Ocak, one of the journalists who were laid off, tweeted that he learned about his firing upon noticing that his e-mail account had become inaccessible.

Last year Hürriyet was sold to Demirören Holding in a move that was perceived as a further consolidation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s monopolistic grasp on Turkey’s traditional media.

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