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00:00:00
>> A major takeover in Turkey is likely to cement media support for the country's president. And critics say it's the final nail in the coffin for independent journalism in Turkey's mainstream media. Turkey's Dogan Holding says it's started talks to sell its $890 million media arm to an unlisted firm seen as close to leader, Tayyip Erdogan.
00:00:24
Reuters' Turkey correspondent, David Dolan explains.>> This is actually a hugely important story for Turkey and it is far bigger than just one company buying another. What this story means is that Turkey's best selling newspaper, the Hurriyet, a very well-respected broadsheet, as well as a broadcaster CNN Türk.
00:00:44
As well as some other newspapers, TV stations, and radio stations are being bought by a company that is widely seen as backing President Tayyip Erdoğan. So what does that mean? Critics say there will be far fewer independent voices left in Turkey, which is especially critical ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections next year.
00:01:08
>> The Hurriyet is one of the few major Turkish papers that is not seen as pro-Erdogan. Its sale will mean that out of the country's top ten selling newspapers, only one will be pro-opposition.>> Generally, the headlines of Turkish press tend to be very much pro-Erdogan. I think there's one headline today that's kind of telling and that's from the independent Cumhuriyet newspaper, the headline is, one man, one voice.
00:01:36
And I think probably that's what a lot of people in Turkey today fear.>> Dogan Holding and it's founder Aydin Dogan have been accused by Erdogan of bias against his Islamist-rooted AK Party. Dogan denies the charges, in an online statement, he says the decision to sell the company was his alone.
00:01:56
It comes as Turkey's parliament approves a bill granting the radio and television watchdog authority to regulate online content. The move closing a loophole under which some Turkish broadcasters have sought refuge from censorship and strict regulations by moving online. Fueling concerns about further restrictions on the media.