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Update Turkeys Dogan creates political stir - 26-February-2009, 11:00

Turkeys Dogan creates political stir

Turkeys leading media mogul is Aydin Dogan and he has heavily criticised the nations prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accusing Mr Erdogan of muzzling negative comment and becoming increasingly intolerant of critical voices.

Dogan Holdings controls 3 mainstream TV channels, as well as partnering CNN in the CNN-Turk news station. Dogan also own 7 newspapers including Hurriyet and Milliyet, as well as 28 magazines.

Mr Dogans history with the ruling AK Party is strained, given that he was also hit with a massive $500m fine recently for alleged tax avoidance, which is denied and being contested. Dogan says the fine was out of all proportion to what was a minor and routine tax examination.

Mr. Erdogan came to power using democracy. He is a product of democracy, but he can accept democracy only for himself," said Aydin Dogan, speaking to the Wall Street Journal yesterday. "He cannot accept side components of democracy such as free media."

Dogan said seven of his companies are being investigated by tax inspectors. Relations with the government, he told the WSJ, first "went haywire" early last year when his media outlets reported on the business dealings of Mr. Erdogan's son and family members. Dogan's newspapers started digging into a criminal case in Germany involving a Turkish charity accused of funneling funds to Mr. Erdogan's AK Party.
   
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