First wave of sackings after takeover of Turkish media group

Following the takeover of the secular Doğan media group by a Turkish government ally this month, the group has seen its first big shakeup, opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

Demirören Holding, which bought the media conglomerate for $916 million, already owned a media group including Vatan and Milliyet newspapers.

The new owners apparently plan to replace the news team at Kanal D, which had been part of Doğan, with a small group of newsmakers from the pro-government Show TV, owned by a third media company.

Well-known commentator Ahmet Hakan is to lose his job at Kanal D, along with the channel’s news editor Süleyman Sarılar, the paper said.

In place of Hakan, who will continue writing for the group’s newspaper Hürriyet and presenting a show on its news channel CNNTürk, the news anchor from another pro-government channel is being considered to present Kanal D news, the newspaper said.

The group’s new owners have also offered Posta newspaper’s editor Rıfat Ababay the editorship of group flagship paper Hürriyet, Cumhuriyet said.

Ababay has been editor of Posta, a Doğan group publication, since 1996 and has succeeded in making the tabloid-style newspaper one of Turkey’s best-sellers.