Turkish newspaper drops 9 pct in sales, over 350 staff after pro-gov’t takeover

A total of 386 people have been sacked from Turkish newspaper Hürriyet daily while sales dropped by 9 percent in 2018, when a pro-government media group acquired the paper, left-wing news site Gazete Duvar reported on Monday.

Turkey’s Demirören Group, known for its close tie to the country’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), bought Hürriyet and numerous other media assets belonging to businessmen Aydin Doğan in March of last year, in a move that was criticised for bringing almost all the mass circulation newspapers and biggest television channels into the pro-government fold.  

Hürriyet staff, which numbered at 1521 in 2017, dropped to 1135 in 2018, Gazete Duvar said, citing Hürriyet’s activity report for 2018.

The newspaper’s net sales slid by 9 percent in 2018, from 3,292,000 liras ($ 603,000) in 2017 to 3,000,010 ($ 549,000) lira it said.

Hürriyet also suffered a drop in revenue totalling 63,578,000 liras ($ 11,645,000) in 2018. While the newspaper’s revenue for 2017 was 485, 641,000 liras ($ 88,943,000), this figure slid to 422,063,000 liras ($ 77,289,000) in 2018.

Hürriyet newspaper was one of the prominent news outlets owned by Doğan Media Group, the last major Turkish media group to maintain a quasi-independent editorial line.