Turkey’s Dogan Holding has opened talks to sell its media group to a private firm seen as close to President Tayyip Erdogan. Seen as a pillar of the secular establishment, Dogan Media owns the top-selling Hurriyet daily, broadcaster CNN Turk, TV channels and radio stations. Its acquisition by Demiroren Holding, which owns two pro-government dailies, will put the media overwhelmingly on Erdogan’s side.
Demiroren told Reuters it would buy Dogan’s media arm, Dogan Holding confirmed the talks.
Dogan Holding and its octogenarian founder, Aydin Dogan, have been accused by Erdogan of bias against the Islamist AKP. Dogan Media was fined $2.5 billion for unpaid taxes in 2009, in what government opponents saw as an attempt to crush media criticism of Erdogan. Following the tax bill, Aydin Dogan was forced to sell the group’s Milliyet and Vatan newspapers – to Demiroren. Both papers have since become staunchly pro-government.