EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The takeover of Turkey’s largest independent media group by an Erdoğan crony was not unexpected given the troubles and systematic state harassment suffered by the Dogan Media Company over the past decade. After the takeover, the opposition media will be limited to one large-circulation daily, a couple of small, left-wing newspapers, and a number of small digital platforms, with the third group now facing new pressure from the government.
First the good news: Turkey, which is already the worst jailer of journalists in the world, may no longer need to put newsmen and -women behind bars. The bad news, however, is that there may no longer be any journalists left with sufficient editorial liberty to anger Turkey’s Islamist strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. This is because what most viewed as the last bastion of critical journalism in the mainstream press has been sold to a pro-Erdoğan businessman.
In an $890 million deal, media tycoon and businessman Aydın Doğan, owner of the Doğan Media Company (DMC), sold all the company’s media assets to businessman Erdoğan Demirören, whose primary interests are energy, construction, tourism, and media.