Axel Springer speeds up Turkish media sale on politics

German media giant Axel Springer said it will sell its stake in Turkey’s Dogan TV earlier than planned, citing negative political developments in the country.

Axel Springer has agreed to sell its 7 percent stake for 160 million euros, chief executive officer Mathias Doepfner said, according to Turkish news website

The German firm is among the last independent companies to hold stakes in Turkish media after business allies of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gained control of about 90 percent of the television and newspaper market. Erdoğan’s stranglehold on the media has been criticized by the European Union and international watchdogs as further evidence of growing authoritarianism in the country.

“We had agreed with our partners to reduce our stake gradually because we had grown disheartened by developments in the past few years,” Doepfner said, according to “It is clear from current developments that things won’t change for the positive going forward.”

Axel Springer bought 25 percent of Dogan TV in 2007 for 375 million euros.