Police teams enter Koza Ipek Holding HQ after seizure decision

Police officials arrived at Koza ipek Holdingand’s headquarters on Tuesday to formally notify the executive board of the holding that it had been replaced with a board of trustees appointed on Monday.

span style=”font-size:12pxHolding lawyers talk with police officials in front of the offices of the media outlets owned by the conglomerate in Istanbul. (Photo: Mehmet Yaman)
Opposition politicians, journalists and demonstrators flocked to the companyand’s headquarters in Ankara and the subsidiary media outlet locations in Istanbul on Tuesday to show solidarity with the conglomerate.

span style=”font-size:12pxDemonstrators in front of media offices in Istanbul. (Photo: Cihan)
In Ankara, riot police deployed in the area used tear gas to disperse the crowd of demonstrators.
In Istanbul, the holdingand’s lawyers attempted to block the team for several minutes, arguing that the officials are not legally authorized to present the decision and start implementing it. However, the police officials, backed by riot police in gas masks, forcefully made their way into the building.

span style=”font-size:12pxCHP lawmaker Barii Yarkadai addresses a crowd of demonstrators in Istanbul. (Photo: Todayand’s Zaman, Mehmet Yaman)
Opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Mahmut Tanal spoke with a police organized crime department official in front of the cameras, insisting that he did not have the authority to present the takeover decision.

span style=”font-size:12pxCHPand’s Mahmut Tanal (R) talks to a police official in front of the Koza ipek Holding media offices in Istanbul. (Photo: Todayand’s Zaman, Mehmet Yaman)
Police vehicles, riot police teams and armored water cannons, or TOMAs, were deployed in front of the Koza ipek offices in both Ankara and Istanbul as the takeover process went ahead.

span style=”font-size:12pxPolice vehicles are seen in front of the holding headquarters in Ankara. (Photo: Todayand’s Zaman, Ali andunal)
In Ankara, Melek ipek, the mother of Koza ipek Holding CEO Akin ipek, asked the crowd of supporters to disperse. andquotLetand’s pray and be together with our poor, the needy and students. Let us go to our homes if you love me,andquot she said.
andquotMy mother would be devastated if anything bad ever happens to you,andquot ipekand’s sister, Pelin ipek Zenginer said.

span style=”font-size:12pxA demonstrator holds a copy of Bugandun newspaper, one of the media outlets seized, in Ankara. (Photo: Ali andunal)
Bugandun TV, the flagship station of the Koza ipek Media Group, which has emerged as a main platform for opposition politicians over recent months, was continuing to broadcast as of Tuesday afternoon with a caption that read andquotWe will not be silenced.andquot
iframe frameborder=”0″ height=”315″ src=”https:www.youtube.comembedgdHfiLcfOB8″ width=”560iframe
The takeover of the management of Koza ipek Holdingand’s 22 companies, including critical TV stations Bugandun TV, Kanaltandurk and two newspapers, comes just days before Turkey is set to have a repeat parliamentary election on Nov. 1. The move has intensified concerns about the deteriorating state of freedom of speech and of the media in Turkey.

span style=”font-size:12pxPolice officers deployed in front of the Koza ipek Holding headquarters in Ankara. (Photo: Todayand’s Zaman, Ali andunal)
One of the trustees appointed to the new board is a former aertisement manager at the Sabah newspaper, a staunchly pro-government newspaper run by the brother of the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, news reports show.