Aydın Doğan bids farewell to Hürriyet staff
“I am here today to bid farewell. I know that it is not easy,” Doğan said at a ceremony at the office, calling on all the staff to feel proud of being part of the group.
“We have carried the flagship of the Turkish media safely for a 40-year journey,” he added, wishing success to the successor company.
Doğan, who holds a record of owning a media group for the longest term, thanked all employee of the group’s various institutions, including the Hürriyet Daily News, CNN Türk and Kanal D.
“Hürriyet has become the most important newspaper in terms of defending democracy and secularism,” he said.
Before Doğan’s speech, Hürriyet editor-in-chief Fikret Bila said “every farewell carries sadness.”
“Every goodbye revives history. As history flows in front of our eyes like a film strip, successes achieved together, beautiful moments and unforgettable memories are experienced again. That is what I feel today,” Bila added.
“Aydın Doğan is the only example in Turkey’s media sector who has continuously owned newspapers for 40 years. Throughout this period, his contribution to the Turkish press, democracy, and the republic will take an important place,” he added.
Bila said he did not just consider Aydın Doğan to be the owner of a newspaper, he also considered him a good journalist.
“His only measure is accurate news. He stood behind the right news until the end ... The most important journalistic principle I learned from him is to abide to the truth while writing articles. Abiding to the truth means abiding to history,” he added.
Sedat Ergin, former editor-in-chief and current Hürriyet columnist, said he has had a working relationship with Doğan since 1994 and he has “personally witnessed Doğan’s contribution to the universal principles of journalism in Turkey.”
“I am very honored to know Aydın Doğan not only as a boss, but also as a friend. He has undoubtedly been one of the most important actors of Turkey’s media landscape,” Ergin said.
“He has contributed to press freedom, pluralism and the establishment of the universal principles of journalism in the mainstream media in Turkey,” he added, acknowledging that being a boss or publisher in Turkey’s media sector is “not an easy job.”
“I am aware how much tolerance, endurance and strength are demanded in the face of false claims,” Ergin said, thanking Doğan for the “opportunities” he provided.
Ertuğrul Özkök, a former editor-in-chief, Doğan Hızlan, a veteran in culture and arts reporting, and senior columnist Ahmet Hakan also addressed the audience at the ceremony.
A similar ceremony was held at the Doğan TV center earlier in the day.
Doğan Group Chairwoman Begümhan Doğan Faralyalı, Deputy Chairwoman Hanzade Doğan Boyner, Board Member Vuslat Doğan Sabancı and Doğan TV Holding Chairwoman Arzuhan Doğan Yalçındağ accompanied their father during the ceremonies.