One-third of Turkcell’s newspaper ad budget spent on pro-gov’t dailies

A total of 31.3 percent of telecommunications giant Turkcell’s 2014 newspaper aertising budget was spent on ads in three pro-government newspapers, according to research conducted by three opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies that was presented in Parliament this week.

The Star, AkIam and GuneI dailies, which are owned by staunchly pro-government businessman Ethem Sancak, received nearly a third of Turkcell’s newspaper aertising b

A total of 31.3 percent of telecommunications giant Turkcelland#39s 2014 newspaper aertising budget was spent on ads in three pro-government newspapers, according to research conducted by three opposition Republican Peopleand#39s Party (CHP) deputies that was presented in Parliament this week.

The Star, AkIam and GanduumlneI dailies, which are owned by staunchly pro-government businessman Ethem Sancak, received nearly a third of Turkcelland#39s newspaper aertising budget despite the fact that these papers collectively account for only 7 percent of total newspaper circulation in Turkey, according to the report, prepared by CHP deputies Akif Hamzaandccedilebi, Engin Altay and Levent Gandoumlk.

Star, AkIam and GanduumlneI were also the first, second and third newspapers to which Turkcell paid the most for aertisements, respectively.

Meanwhile, the 24 TV and tv360 television channels, both owned by Sancak, who once said he andldquojust lovesandrdquo then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan, were the top two television channels for Turkcell ads in 2014.

Turkcell, the only Turkish company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, substantially reduced its aertising in newspapers that upped their critical stance against the government after the corruption scandals that became public on Dec.

17 and Dec. 25, 2013, implicating members of the government and the business world.

While Turkcell decreased its overall amount of newspaper ads in 2014, this was primarily due to severe cuts in ads of critical dailies, while certain pro-government papers received an increased number of aertisements.

Turkcell took out three times as much ad space in the radical Islamist Yeni Akit daily between January and September of 2014 than it did in the same period of 2013.

Yeni Akit is known for its fierce support of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) as well as its anti-Semitic content, famously printing a word game with a picture of Adolf Hitler to which the final clue read, andldquoWe are longing for you.andrdquo This came amid Israeland#39s siege of Gaza in the summer of last year

During the same period, the Buganduumln and Sandoumlzcanduuml dailies — which both have taken critical stances against the government — witnessed significant cuts in Turkcell ad space.

Turkcell allocated 58 percent of its ads to the top three best-selling dailies — Zaman, Posta and Handuumlrriyet — in the first nine months of last year: 30.3 percent of the cake.

According to the Taraf daily in a report from earlier this month, in a meeting to be held on March 26, Turkcelland#39s board will vote to sell some company subsidiaries at home and abroad that generate high revenues and replace 10 percent of the current staff with individuals who have ties to the AK Party.

It was also alleged that employees in Turkcelland#39s aertising department have been replaced with new hires in order to ensure that the companyand#39s aertisements are published primarily in pro-government dailies.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman