Turkish Airlines stops giving out Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos

Turkish Airlines announced that it unilaterally ended a contract with the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos and would not give out the newspaper on its stands and airplanes, independent news site Bianet reported on Friday.

Turkish Airlines, which started distributing Agos in 2013, decided last week to end the contract. Turkey’s flagship carrier announced the decision in a written statement without explaining its reasons, Bianet said.

Agos, which was founded in 1996 by journalist Hrant Dink and a group of his friends, to raise awareness on the problems of the Armenians in Turkey, was the first newspaper published in Turkish and Armenian since the Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923.

Dink, the former, editor-in-chief of the newspaper, was assassinated in 2007 in front of Agos office in Istanbul’s Şişli district.

Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund, established in 2016, oversees the operation of the country’s largest state-controlled businesses, including Turkish Airlines. In September, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appointed himself chairman of the fund and his son-in-law, Treasury Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, as his deputy.

Turkish Airlines in recent years have been criticised for stopping giving out opposition newspapers and just distributing pro-government ones.