AKP Govenment Sells Turkey’s Second Largest Media Group To Calik Holding Whose General Manager Is PM Erdogan’s Son In Law

Turkey's second-biggest media group, Sabah/ATV, was sold yesterday to Calik Holding, the single bidder after all others pulled out. Initially there were about ten groups competing; the last consortiums to withdraw were Ýpek-Sancak with their European partner RTL, and Nurol Holding and its U.S. partner Carlyle Group, leaving Calik the sole bidder to buy Sabah/ATV for %1.1 billion. There were rumors in the media that the prime minister was involved and had had discussions with other contenders, in the weeks prior to the sale. Mainstream media has been accusing AKP for creating a large pro-AKP/Islamist media through acquisitions, while putting pressure on the mainstream media by intimidation. Previously two other large media groups were also seized and sold to parties known to be close to the AKP.

On April 1, 2007, the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF), a governmental organization, had confiscated Sabah/ATV group which consists of three newspapers, two TV channels, group of magazines and a distribution company, and organized its sale.

Çalýk Holding that is active in areas of textile, construction, finance and energy grew bigger during the AKP rule, especially when it was given - without a tender -the Samsun-Ceyhan (trans-Anatolia) oil pipeline project. It is led by businessman Ahmet Çalýk, who is claimed to be “close” to the AKP government. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan’s 26 year old son-in-law Berat Albayrak became Çalýk's general manager in late March.

Source: Hurriyet, Cumhuriyet, Turkey, December 6, 2007


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