Doğan Group representative detained after column in daily targeting him
ISTANBULA prosecutor’s office in Istanbul, which ordered the detention of Doğan Group's Ankara representative, Barbaros Muratoğlu, has cited articles published in two pro-government newspapers as evidence, daily Hürriyet has learned.
Along with Akşam, daily Takvim published similarly unfounded claims.
Police arrived at Muratoğlu’s house in Ankara at 6 a.m. on Dec. 1 and detained the executive after a two hour search in the house. They also copied all information in Muratoğlu’s computers.
He was taken to the police anti-terrorism department in Istanbul in the afternoon.
Doğan Group's, which owns the Hürriyet and Hüriyet Daily News newspapers, released a statement on Dec. 1, defying reports that an “operation” has been conducted against it.
Doğan Group's deputy chairman responsible for corporate communications, Ahter Kutadgu, said in the statement that a “slander campaign” was being carried out against the group.
The statement underscored that Muratoğlu had served in various positions within Doğan Holding for 28 years and has been Doğan Holding’s Ankara representative for the last two years, “earning our appreciation with his hard work.”
“We see that some media groups, taking advantage of this investigation, have reported false news that an operation has been staged against the Doğan Group. Our group, which paid a heavy price for being subjected to plots by the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) in the past, primarily unfair tax penalties, has reported a number of the unlawful practices of elements of this organization in major cases with its publications. It is obvious that our group cannot have any relationship with such an illegal structure,” it said.
The Doğan Media Group played a major role in preventing the Gülenist military coup attempt on the night of July 15, with Pesident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appearing for the first time live after the uprising on the group’s news station CNN Türk to call on citizens to resist at a time when the state-run TRT was controlled by coup-attempting soldiers.
The media center, where the headquarters of CNN Türk and Turkey’s largest newspaper Hürriyet are located, was raided on the coup night by soldiers allegedly acting upon instructions by Gülen. In addition to being attacked on the night of the coup attempt, Hürriyet’s headquarters in Istanbul were attacked on Sept. 6 and 8, 2015 by politically motivated mobs, and Hürriyet columnist Ahmet Hakan was beaten up on Sept. 30, 2015.
In 2009, Doğan Group was fined $3 billion by the government on claims of unpaid taxes, in a fine that drew major criticism from the EU and the U.S.