Babylon & Beyond

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TURKEY: Media mogul steps down in wake of charges

January 5, 2010 |  4:55 pm

F120c81c-f56f-11de-90ab-00144feab49aThings are looking gloomy for Turkey's troubled media boss Aydin Dogan. Last fall, he was slapped with a record $3.2-billion fine for tax evasion, after a highly publicized public row, reported in Babylon & Beyond, between him and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Now the 73-year-old mogul has announced that he is stepping down as chairman of his powerful media group Dogan Holding, which controls more than half of the Turkish media market. 

His daughter Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag will take over his responsibilities.

He resigned only days after the public prosecutor's office in Istanbul announced that Dogan, along with three other board members from Dogan Holding, was facing criminal charges of intentionally causing the media group to lose money.

If convicted they could face up to eight years in prison.

The hefty fine imposed on Dogan's media group has led some people to believe the case against him is politically motivated and that Erdogan is trying to quash his foe by taxing him to death.

But Erdogan has dismissed allegations that he's pursuing a political vendetta.

Others, meanwhile, don't view Dogan as a martyr of free speech but as a merciless and crooked businessman who is getting what he deserves.

-- Alexandra Sandels in Beirut

Photo: Turkish media boss Aydin Dogan has announced that he will be stepping down as chairman of his Dogan Holding group, which controls more than half of the Turkish media market. He was fined $3.2 billion for tax evasion and is facing criminal charges of deliberately causing his company to lose money. Credit: Associated Press