New paper unexpectedly shuts down, employees protest

ISTANBUL (CIHAN)- Turkey’s newest newspaper, which went into print for the first time on Feb. 9, ended its brief publication life with its last issue being published on Monday, amid a protest by its employees that began on Sunday.

The newspaper, KarII, whose name means “against” in English, announced on Sunday that Monday would see its last issue. Employees of the newspaper occupied the building after the announcement, saying they had not been informed of the newspaper’s closure in aance. The Turkish Union of Journalists (TGS) in a statement on Sunday announced support for the protesters.

The TGS said the KarII management had promised its employees during the hiring phase that the newspaper had the funds to stay afloat at least for a year. “Many media professionals had left their jobs because of that promise. But some of the employees found out that their newspaper had shut down through social media while they were outside following news stories.”

KarII has yet to pay one-and-a-half months of salaries and severance pay to its employees, the TGS claimed, and urged the newspaper to make the payments. It said it would support the protesters’ occupation of the building until their demands are met.

17 aertisement

Turan Ababey, the owner of the newspaper’s copyrights, said in the statement which announced the unexpected closure on Sunday on the paper’s website, that he had never intervened in any editorial decision during the brief course of publication of the newspaper. He also said his newspaper did not have the financial support of any political or religious group, despite rumors to that effect.

He also made clear that he did not intervene in what aertisements the employees chose to print, a point which relates to a past scandal regarding the newspaper. KarII, which had presented itself initially as being in opposition to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, on March 16 published an ad by businessman Ali AIaoIlu, who had been detained as part of the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption investigation into the AK Party government. Many writers, editors and directors quit the newspaper after the full-page ad was published.

Ababey didn’t state the exact reason for the newspaper’s closure, but hinted at financial difficulties.

(CihanToday’s Zaman) C