Turkish pro-gov’t newspapers shut down due to financial troubles

Güneş and Star newspapers of the pro-government TürkMedya group, were shut down as the group experiences financial problems, Gazete Duvar reported on Monday.

After Istanbul's opposition mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu took office in June, he cancelled monthly municipal advertising deals worth 10 million lira ($1.8 million) with the TürkMedya group, citing wasteful spending during the 14-year rule of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Following the termination of the contract with Istanbul municipality, the group started to reduce its workforce. TürkMedya’s TV station, 24 TV, parted ways with several news anchors and other employees while Güneş decided to end its print edition and focus on online publication.

Star newspaper completely terminated its work while Güneş newspaper has turned into a newspaper supplement for daily Akşam, Gazete Duvar said.

The TürkMedya group’s owner, Hasan Yeşildağ, made headlines in 1998 when he voluntarily committed a petty crime in order to be imprisoned alongside then Istanbul mayor Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 1998, saying he wished to protect him behind bars.