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Dogan Media to be sold off

Turkey’s Dogan Media Group, owner of Kanal D and CNN Turk, is set to be sold to a pro-government conglomerate in a move described by critics as limiting press freedom.

Turkey’s Demiroren Holding, a conglomerate with interests primarily in energy, construction, tourism and media, has agreed to buy Dogan Media, which also owns two newspapers, for a reported US$1.2bn.

According to Reuters, the transaction will be confirmed on the Istanbul stock exchange and follows years of tension between Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan and Dogan Media.

Erdogan has repeatedly accused the company, established in 1997, of bias against his Islamist-rooted ruling AK Party, which the company has denied.

Reuters quoted Andrew Finkel, a veteran Turkey commentator and the author of Turkey: What Everyone Needs to Know, who said the deal marks an “increasing monopolisation of opinion.”

The international arm of Kanal D is highly active on the global TV market and recently opened a coproduction division focusing on scripted, unscripted, docudramas, film and miniseries. It is also in the midst of rolling out channels around the world.

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