Turkish journalist Zülfikar Doğan claimed in his recent Al-Monitor article that pro-government trustees were appointed to run Feza Media Group’s Meydan daily.
There are some problems with this statement.
First, Feza Media Group does not own Meydan daily. The daily has its own company called Meydan Yayın ve Gazetecilik A.Ş. which is not tied to Feza Media group whatsoever.
The second problem with this statement, the allegation that pro-government trustees were appointed to Meydan daily is also inaccurate. The newspaper is still operating with its own original management and there is no court order.
Doğan also stated that,
“Gulenist newspapers, which operated mostly on a subscription basis, became pro-government overnight and soon their circulation plummeted. As a result, the trustees closed down Bugun and Millet.”
This is also partly inaccurate. Akın İpek, the owner of the İpek Group and its media arm petitioned the court to prevent funds tranfers to newspapers and TV stations from the parent company. As a result the trustees and the prosecutor decided to stop allocating funds for these companies and closed them down.
The tricky part is that, according to the trustees, Akın İpek was already transferring millions of Turkish lira to his media group from the parent company before the takeover.
“Soon other critical channels — the left-leaning IMC TV and the nationalist Benguturk TV — were also removed from the satellite.”
As we explained before, IMC TV was removed from the satellite due to its terrorist pro-PKK propaoganda:.
In fact, a committee of legal experts who reviewed İMC TV broadcasts between May-September 2015 decided that İMC TV iwas broadcasting on behalf of the PKK. The report states that the TV channel frequently interviews PKK commanders, functions as the voice of the militant group, and tries to justify PKK activities in southeastern Turkey. We think someone who watches IMC TV for a day can easily see that it has a PKK-friendly editorial line. The link with the PKK is self-evident to anyone who watches the channel objectively.
Doğan also claimed,
“The circulation of another critical daily, Taraf, also nosedived after its distribution company ended up in trusteeship, too, and halted deliveries to subscribers.”
That is not correct. Taraf was already selling around 40K in March.
Now Taraf is distributed by Yay-Sat, powerful media giant Doğan’s distribution company.
It still sells more than 30K per day. Taraf’s circulation has plummeted because the newspaper reduced the number of pages it publishes and many senior columnists and journalists left the paper.