Pro-government Turkish media outlet downsizes after Istanbul mayor cuts support

The TürkMedya group, which includes newspapers such as newspapers Akşam, Güneş and 24 TV, is reducing its workforce after opposition Istanbul mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu canceled municipal advertising deals with the group, Medya Radar said on Friday.

The TürkMedya group’s owner, Hasan Yeşildağ, voluntarily committed a petty crime to be imprisoned alongside then-Istanbul mayor Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying he wished to protect him in prison. Erdoğan became prime minister of Turkey in 2003 and president in 2014.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul mayor repeatedly said he would eliminate wasteful expenditure at the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) under the 14-year rule of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the city.

24 TV has already parted ways with some of its prominent news anchors and layoffs will continue after İmamoğlu cut the monthly transfer of 10 million lira ($1.8 million) in advertising fees, Medya Radar said.

The IBB’s inflated budget and the vast amounts it has transferred to charitable foundations and pro-government companies under AKP leadership have been widely discussed by critics following this year’s local elections. Reports indicate that AKP-affiliated foundations and associations from the IBB have received hundreds of millions of liras under the previous AKP municipal administration.
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