The Hürriyet daily, one of the leading newspapers in Turkey, has parted ways with renowned columnist Taha Akyol.

According to a recent tweet posted by Mr. Akyol’s son, Mustafa Akyol, everyone knows why his father was laid off.

“Today, Turkey’s largest newspaper Hürriyet ended the decades-old column of my father Taha Akyol. Everyone knows why. Just two days ago, he had written once again about thinking freely & not bowing down to autocracy – principles he upheld all his life. I am proud to be his son.”

The T24 news portal reported that Mr. Akyol’s last article, in which he bids farewell to his readers, would be published in Hürriyet on Friday.

Since the sale of the Doğan Media Group, which was the largest media group in Turkey, to the Demirören Group, then owned by the late businessman Erdoğan Demirören, dozens of journalists have lost their jobs.

The daily’s Editor-in-Chief Fikret Bila and columnist Melis Alphan resigned shortly after the sale.

Akyol, who used to write articles on mainly judicial issues, began to write for Milliyet in 1991, which was then owned by the Doğan Media Group, and then for Hürriyet in 2011.

According to T24, Akyol was informed about the daily’s decision to part ways on Thursday by Hürriyet Editor-in-Chief Vahap Munyar, who offered his apologies and reportedly said the decision was made by the Demirören family, not himself.

The Doğan Media Group was sold to Demirören for $1.1 billion shortly before general and presidential elections held in Turkey on June 24. Many interpreted the sale of the Doğan Media Group as an attempt by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to take the Turkish media under his absolute control because the Demirören family is known for its close ties to Erdoğan and his government.

Dozens of critical media outlets have been closed down and many critical journalists have been jailed in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.

 

 

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