EU to criticize Turkish PM's media boycott

The European Union Commission will add a last minute amendment to its annual progress report to include criticisms of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's call for a boycott against Dogan Media Group publications.

The original report, a draft of which was obtained by HDN last week, was a blow to the expectations of opposition parties and civil rights organizations, after it was silent on the prime minister's boycott calls on the Dogan group.

Prime Minister Erdogan's boycott call against the Dogan Group over its coverage of the Deniz Feneri e.V. case, as well as Chief of Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug's harsh criticism of the daily, Taraf, on reports of military negligence prior to the Aktutun terrorist attack last month, will only be referred to but not directly addressed in the final document.

In the Deniz Feneri e.V. case, viewed as the biggest charity scandal in German history, a court in Frankfurt jailed three managers from the charity's German branch, Deniz Feneri e.V., for directing 14.5 million euro ($20.6 million) of donated funds collected from the Turkish community in Germany into private companies.

Several people based in Turkey, including the head of Turkey's media watchdog, RTUK, Zahid Akman, were implicated as the masterminds amid claims that the charity, whose founders are close to the ruling government, might have funneled funds into the prime minister's Islamic-rooted AKP.

Source: Hurriyet (Turkey), November 3, 2008

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