Claim that Doğan Holding sold land to Gülenists for cheap ‘false’: Company
ISTANBULAllegations that Doğan Holding sold land to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) at a cheap price as a favor to the Gülenists is false, the Doğan Group’s deputy chairman responsible for corporate communications, Ahter Kutadgu, has said, commenting on recent reports by pro-government dailies Sabah and Takvim.
“All of these issues that we can easily support with our official records show that the allegations that we sold land worth 100 million Turkish Liras for 50 million liras to FETÖ in order to do them a favor are absolutely not true,” Kutadgu said, adding that the Doğan Group felt it was “necessary to reveal the truth” about arrested lawyer Hasan Günaydın’s allegations.
“We are obliged to reveal the truth about the news titled ‘Doğan Holding accused of doing a favor to FETÖ’ published in some newspapers dated Jan. 12, 2017. The 68,586 square meter plot in Istanbul’s Hadımköy owned by daily Hürriyet newspaper was sold to the Feza Publications company on Oct. 17, 2012, for 50 million Turkish Liras (27,912,689 U.S. dollars). The aforementioned land was bought for 2,915,030 Turkish Liras (9,078,490 U.S. dollars) on Jan. 13, 1999,” the statement released by Kutadgu also said.
Feza Publications was the owner of several media outlets, including Zaman newspaper, Today’s Zaman and Cihan News Agency, and was long known to have close ties with the movement led by U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen.
According to the statement, an expert report released on Sept. 11, 2012, existed before the sale in 2012, and the current market value of the plot was determined to be 33.3 million liras (18.8 million U.S. dollars). As such, the land was sold at more than 50 percent of the value determined in the aforementioned independent expert report. The price is three times as much in dollars and 17.5 times as much in liras in comparison to the initial acquisition price by Doğan, the statement said.
“Moreover, the values reached in the sales in the region in the same time period, including to other buyers, reveal that the sales mentioned in the news were made for over market value. We need to sadly note that we can’t associate this and similar news – which present the statements of confessed FETÖ members who made up lies to save themselves as [a means] to accuse the Doğan Group of FETÖ membership without reason and conscience – to the profession of journalism,” the statement added.