Bügün TV — a now-closed station known to be affiliated with Turkey’s Gülen group — has reportedly been sold to Burhanettin Türkeş, a Turkish citizen who served 74 months for his role in murder of Jewish businessman Nesim Malki.
Malki, who was a businessman based in Istanbul, was killed in 1995 by gunmen who opened fire at his car while he was driving in Bursa, a city on Turkey’s western coast. His death allegedly came as an alleged retaliation for the killing of a militant Islamic leader in Malta.
Burhanettin Turkes along with other instigators of the murder were sentenced to 11 years, 4 months in prison on 21 May 2004. However, he was released by a Bursa court five years later in 2009.
Bugün TV, along with Kanal Türk, the Millet and Bugün newspapers were known for their critical stance, and they were forcefully seized by the Turkish government in early 2016.
In August 2016, the properties belonging to these media outlets were put up for sale by the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF). The estimated price set amounted to $2.6 million in total.
Nearly 1,000 companies with $12 billion in assets have been transferred to the TMSF since a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The companies in question were mostly targeted as part of a state crackdown against the Gülen group, which the government accuses of masterminding the coup attempt. The group denies involvement.
Among the seized companies are more than 160 media outlets that used to have critical editorial policies.