Opposition newspaper in Turkey accused of caving in to new pro-Erdogan owners

by The Region    


Turkey's Demiroren Holding, a firm seen as supportive of President Tayyip Erdogan, has been accused of intervening into the editorial line of Hurrieyet, which it recently acquired after Dogan Media was fined $2.5 billion by the Erdogan government, in a targetted campaign to have local media under the influence of the AKP government.

The accusation comes after Hurriyet decided to retract a news article entitled "400 acres of oak forest has disappeared." Critics allege that the story was taken down because the Demiroren Group is said to have invested in the Turkish stream project condemned in the article, which aims to create a corridor which would allow for Russian natural gas to flow to Europe.

T24, a Turkish daily, reports that the story reported the human toll of the pipeline. Speaking to Nazmi Meydan, a leader of a CHP controlled municipality, the ecological damage of the project has affected the livelihoods of the region, and has led to habitat destruction, and local ecosystems which are central to food production in Kiyikoy. In addition to this, Meydan also insisted that the project would lead to negative consequences for tourism revenue for the town. Aya Nikola -- one of the oldest stone carved monasteries in the world --  is under threat by the project. 

Officials in Kiyikoy allege that while they were promised a natural gas pipeline which would be 50 meters wide, they received instead a pipeline that is 200-250 meters wide. This has led to the exodus of fish necessary for local food production. It is expected that Russia will make an annual profit of $750 million a year from the pipeline.

According to T24, Berat Albayrak, the son-in-law of President Erdogan, and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources since November 2015, was implicated in the editorial censorship, according to rumors on the Hurriyet shopfloor.