Global press associations decry Koza Ipek takeover

All the trustees appointed by an Ankara court on Monday to the boards of directors of the companies that make up Koza ipek Holding are either members of or support the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), even though trustees appointed to companies seized in this manner are required to be independent and objective.
In the latest example of what many have said is a politically motivated attack on the private sector and independent media, the Ankara 5th Penal Court of Peace ordered the seizure of Koza ipek Holding, which owns media outlets that are critical of the government.
and”Courts of peaceand” are a new feature of the Turkish justice system, established by the government when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was prime minister as specially authorized courts with extraordinary powers that contradict the universal rule of law.
One of the recently appointed trustees is lawyer Arif Yalandcin, who is a member of the andcankaya district council representing the AK Party. Yalandcin will be paid a salary of TL 50,000 as a trustee. Yalandcin has posted a number of tweets in which he openly revealed his support for the AK Party. In one tweet, Yalandcin wrote: and”May God help the government of [acting Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoilu, which has received a vote of confidence. I hope he will be successful.and”
Another trustee is Nevzat DemirandOz, who is the head of the AK Partyand’s district branch in the Beylikdanduzandu district of Istanbul. Ali Yazili, another trustee, is a city council member for andumraniye municipality representing the AK Party.
Handudai Bal is another of the trustees appointed by Judge Yunus Sanduer from the Ankara 5th Penal Court of Peace. Bal was previously the aertising and finance director of the pro-AK Party Turkuaz Media Group, which includes the Sabah daily, widely considered the governmentand’s mouthpiece, and the ATV television station. He was later appointed the manager of the Show TV channel after its ownership was transferred to the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) in 2013.
Another trustee is andumit andOnal, previously the aertising group chairman of the Turkuaz Media Group. andOnal was also appointed to Show TV after the TMSFand’s seizure of the channel. Following an eight-month investigation, the Istanbul 4th Administrative Court ruled to cancel the sale of the Show TV on May 14 of last year. After the decision, both andOnal and Bal had to leave their positions.
andOnal, who is currently Sabahand’s aertising manager, has been appointed as a trustee of the Yaiam Television and Broadcast Services — an incorporated company that operates under Koza ipek Holding and includes the Kanaltandurk TV channel — even though he was implicated in the infamous and”Hello Fatihand” media censorship scandal in 2014. His name was mentioned in a voice recording of a phone call between Mehmet Fatih Saraandc — a former executive at the Habertandurk daily and Habertandurk TV — and then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was leaked on the Internet early in February of last year.
In the recording, Erdogan instructed Saraandc to censor broadcasts of opposition leaders. Saraandc has since been dubbed andquotAlo Fatihandquot (Hello Fatih) in a reference to the words Erdogan used when calling him in the leaked conversation. In another leaked conversation that took place between Saraandc and Erdoganand’s son Bilal Erdogan on Dec. 4, 2012, Bilal Erdogan said that andOnal was responsible for coordinating aertisements placed in pro-government newspapers.
Other trustees include: Yasin Kalem, who previously worked as an aiser at the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Ali Riza Esmen, the assistant general manager of the Turkish petrochemicals producer Petkim Cavit Demiral, an assistant professor working at the Kirikkale Universityand’s faculty of law who was once an AK Party candidate deputy Kemal Yildir, a former aiser of Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz Hayrullah Daiistan, the general director of Turkeyand’s Mining Exploration Institute (MTA) and an AK party council member representing the andumraniye Municipality in Istanbul and Fatih iandcin, who works as a manager at the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality representing the AK Party.
Turkuvaz Media Group is part of the and”pool mediaand” — a term used for what many commentators have alleged is a group of media outlets purchased by a number of pro-AK Party businessmen from a pool of funds upon the instructions of Erdogan in return for privileged treatment in public tenders. These allegations are based on a number of voice recordings purportedly featuring Erdogan and businessmen involved in the scheme. Anonymous Twitter accounts uploaded the recordings onto social media platforms, claiming that they were legally obtained during surveillance in corruption investigations that were since crippled by mass purges of prosecutors and police officers.