’Seizure of Ipek Media Group lacks any concrete evidence’

Erhan Baiyurt, who was editor-in-chief of the Bugandun daily until the ipek Media Group was seized in a government-led operation to silence critical media outlets on Wednesday, has said that the takeover of the ipek Media Group through the assignment of trustees was not based on concrete evidence, but only the suspicions of an expert report.
Speaking to Todayand’s Zaman on Thursday regarding the unlawful confiscation of the media group, which includes its media outlets such as Bugandun, Baiyurt recalled Article 30 of the Constitution which bans any act of seizure of media outlets.
andquotWhen we look at whatand’s happened, both a forcible take over and even police violence have taken place against ipek Media Group. The seizure evolved into an insulting, physical attack on journalists during the police crackdown,andquot Baiyurt complained.
Regarding the fact that some trustees have close ties with the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and that some are even relatives of high-ranking AK Party figures, Baiyurt said, andquotWas it so difficult to appoint impartial trustees instead of partisan ones.andquot
One of the trustees, Nevzat DemirandOz, is the head of the AK Partyand’s district branch in Beylikdanduzandu, Istanbul. Ali Yazili, another trustee, is a city council member for the andumraniye municipality run by the AK Party. Another trustee, Lawyer Arif Yalandcin, is a member of the the andcankaya district council operated by the AK Party.
Baiyurt also criticized the expert report which accused Koza ipek Holding, the parent company of ipek Media Group, of engaging in andquotobviousandquot unlawfulness, despite inspections which found that the company is almost andquotexcellentandquot in terms of paying tax and other matters, adding, andquotThis reveals no concrete evidence was provided for the confiscation ruling, made by an Ankara-based court, but that suspicions articulated by the experts writing the report were the basis for the seizure.andquot
Pointing out that the Koza ipek Holding had a substantial amount of and”hot moneyand” in its bank accounts, Baiyurt said, andquotThis hot money might be the reason that mobilized the government to take control of the holding. Money is the weakness of this government as the corruption scandal that went public on Dec. 17, 2013 indicated.andquot
He also stressed that the trustees are not acting in line with the law since their assignments have not been published in the Turkish Trade Registry Gazette, making the takeover decision null and void. andquotNo such decision has been published by the gazette. The raid carried out by the police and trustees on the media group is unlawful, brutal and violent,andquot Baiyurt said.
Crediting several deputies from opposition parties that stood together with them in the ipek Media Group headquarters, Baiyurt went on: andquotThey wer in the building with us to show their solidarity for more than 24 hours. I really appreciate it. I want to thank all for their valuable support and upholding of freedom of press by challenging the political authorityand’s unlawful practices against the media group.andquot
andquotSome incidents and moments touched me a lot. For example, some of our friends were injured by the police in the attack,andquot Baiyurt noted.
Millet daily reporter Mustafa Kiliandc was also violently dragged out of the ipek Media Group headquarters by the police when he tried to enter his office on Wednesday morning. Kiliandc fell as a result of the assault and injured his hand. He later shared a photo on his personal Twitter account showing him holding his press card spattered with blood.
Concerning the printing of the Bugandun daily, Baiyurt said, andquotUnfortunately, only one quarter of the total circulation was printed since the team running the printing facilities refused to print the daily. But 40,000 copies of it were printed and reached the readers.andquot