Media ownership remains concentrated in the hands of a few large, private holding companies that earn the majority of their revenue from nonmedia assets. The centralization of public procurement decisions within the prime minister’s office under AKP rule has led to increasing use of economic leverage against these holding companies to force them to toe the party line, according to Freedom House.
The prime minister’s office directly controls the Privatization High Council (OİB), the Housing Development Administration (TOKİ), and the Defense Industry Executive Committee, which together account for tens of billions of dollars in procurement contracts per year.
Regading examples of the use of economic leverage to shape media ownership, Freedom House points to the wiretap recordings leaked in December 2013, that indicated that the government dictated which holding companies would purchase the Sabah-ATV media group in exchange for a multibillion-dollar contract to build Istanbul’s third airport. The Savings Deposit and Insurance Fund (TMSF) was also used to transfer media assets to supportive businessmen, as in November 2013, when Ethem Sancak, a Turkish businessman with close ties to Erdoğan, bought three media outlets previously owned by the Çukurova Group from TMSF.
Source: Freedom of the Press Index 2015 – Turkey