« Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch on Tuesday afternoon in Ankara.
The Australian-American media mogul’s meeting with Erdoğan followed last month’s media reports that his News Corporation was planning to buy Turkish Çalık Holding’s Sabah daily and ATV station.
A Turkish official close to the prime minister told The Associated Press that Murdoch has expressed an interest in expanding investments in Turkey.
The official said Murdoch told Erdoğan during the meeting that he regarded Turkish media as an « important sector » for investments.
The Turkish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, would not say if Murdoch expressed interest in acquiring Turkey’s ATV television and Sabah newspaper.
Murdoch in 2007 shared with the Turkish government that he “seriously contemplated the acquisition of Sabah and ATV” when they were put up for sale by the state’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF). Following confiscation by the TMSF of Turkish business tycoon Turgay Ciner’s Merkez Media Group in 2007, the Çalık Group acquired Sabah and ATV along with other smaller entities for $1.25 billion in 2008. The News Corporation’s Wall Street Journal said in late January that US media giant Time Warner Inc. and private equity firm TPG Capital are also interested in Sabah and ATV.
Murdoch’s reputation as a media tycoon was smeared by a scandal last year that even forced the British government to make a statement regarding its links to the mogul’s media empire. Following the discovery of systemic phone hacking made by Murdoch’s News International, police arrested dozens of reporters as well as a number of executives working for him. »
Source : Today’s Zaman