Skip to main content

Fears of government seizure spill over to Turkey's universities

Private universities in Turkey appear to be next in line in government crosshairs after a number of companies, newspapers and TV channels were taken over by pro-government trustees.
Riot police stand guard outside the Kanalturk and Bugun TV building in Istanbul, Turkey, October 28, 2015. Turkish police on Wednesday stormed the offices of an opposition media company, days before an election, in a crackdown on companies linked to a U.S.-based cleric and foe of President Tayyip Erdogan, live footage showed. Brawls broke out and police sprayed water cannon to disperse dozens of people in front of the offices of Kanalturk and Bugun TV in Istanbul, a live broadcast on Bugun's website showed.
Read in 

A week before Turkey’s Nov. 1 elections, Koza Ipek Holding, whose 22 companies include a media group, were handed over to trustees under a judicial ruling requested by the chief prosecutor’s office in Ankara. Pro-government figures were appointed to run the companies, among them two TV channels and two newspapers. An arrest warrant was issued for holding owner Hamdi Akin Ipek, currently abroad, on charges of being a leader of a terrorist organization linked to US-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen.

After the trustees took over, the media group, which was a tough government critic, underwent a pro-government remake overnight. The editorial policies of the Bugun and Millet newspapers turned upside down, while the Bugun and Kanalturk TV channels began broadcasting documentaries. The trustees fired at least 58 employees.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.