List of casualties at Doğan Media Group grows

Story has been updated in the last paragraph with a comment from CNN official over the fate of the CNNTurk and its relations with CNN.

Yet another high-profile journalist has found himself out of a job at one of Turkey’s largest media companies, Doğan Media Group (DMG), since it was sold to a businessman with strong links to the country’s ruling party in March.

Hakan Çelik tweeted on Monday to announce that he would be leaving his role as Ankara representative for Doğan TV, a DMG company which comprises CNN Türk and Kanal D, two of Turkey’s most popular channels.

His tweet said that he would be switching roles to work instead as a presenter on CNN Türk and to write for Posta, a newspaper owned by Demirören Group, the company which bought DMG.

His announcement, which came amid efforts by Demirören to reshape the staff and editorial line of its new media outlets, elicited speculation that c was downplaying a decision by management to remove him from his poisition.

“There have been times when I lost a job because I wouldn’t let myself be trampled on, but I could never explain it as well as this,” wrote investigative journalist Ahmet Şık in response to Çelik’s tweet. “Actually if I had, I wouldn’t have been fired,” he said.

Ahmet Şık

Çelik’s exit from Doğan TV follows the removal of two other well-known journalists from prominent positions in Doğan Media Group companies. 

In April, Ahmet Hakan was removed from his presenting role on Kanal D, which Demirören is reportedly planning to downsize and staff with journalists from the pro-government channel Show TV.

Former CNN Türk general director Erdoğan Aktaş lost his job in May, to be replaced by pro-government academic and commentator Bora Bayraktar.

With the sale of DMG, which was considered Turkey’s last mainstream independent media group, the proportion of media companies in Turkey owned by individuals or firms with links to the government rose to around 90 percent.

Jonathan Hawkins, currently vice president at CNN Communications told Ahval that as of Monday 7th when asked about the fate of the CNNTurk, ''Nothing to add at this time, will let you know when we have anything to say.''