Turkish media mogul Aydin Dogan has agreed to sell the media arm of his company to Demiroren Holding, a firm majority owned by a businessman with close ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish media reported on Wednesday.
The Daily Sabah said the sale price was US$1.2 billion, citing local press reports.
Dogan Holding owns both CNN Turk television and the Hurriyet newspaper, both widely seen as independent outlets operating in a media landscape dominated by pro-Erdogan sources. Erdogan, meanwhile, has accused the company of bias against his ruling AK Party.
The move marks “increasing monopolization of opinion,” Andrew Finkel, an American journalist and critic of Erdogan, was quoted by Reuters as saying.
“It is the end of an era. Dogan tried to do this balancing act of being sort of oppositional but not so much that the government would interfere,” Finkel said.
The pro-Erdogan Daily Sabah said Dogan’s media empire “strictly opposed the [Erdogan] government, but softened its tone after drawing the ire of officials and the public in numerous cases.”