Top business group voices concern over raid on media outlets

Top business group voices concern over raid on media outlets

Top business group voices concern over raid on media outlets

DHA photo

Turkey’s top business group has expressed “serious concerns” over the fate of press freedom and the security of the judiciary after the seizure of two televisions and newspapers owned by the Koza-İpek Group in a statement on Oct. 28. 

“[All] segments of society have to be informed and satisfied in a way that the measures are not excessive and arbitrary. It will cause grave damage to our country’s business and investment atmosphere in terms of security of the judiciary if doubt remains over the proportionality and necessity of a decision to leave the management of the firm [Koza-İpek Group] to the caretakers,” said the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) in a written statement.

It also said the fact the Koza-İpek Group owned media outlets caused more concern.

“As the related companies also included media outlets, serious concerns are seen in society over press freedom when the recent pressures on the media organs are considered,” said the statement, also calling for a fair and urgent prosecution process over the issue. 

The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Oct. 26 ordered the Koza-İpek Group to be placed under the management of a trustee panel while an investigation was ongoing into the group’s purported ties to U.S.-based scholar Fethullah Gülen, a former government ally. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) now accuse Gülen of heading a purported illegal organization that Erdoğan believes is trying to topple the AKP government with followers working as insiders in the police, the judiciary and other state institutions.

The police had fired tear gas and water cannons at the crowd gathered in support outside the media group’s office building at around 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 28, two days after the initial court ruling, Doğan News Agency reported.