In an unprecedented action earlier this month, the Turkish government levied about a 1.7 billion-euro tax penalty against the country’s largest media group, Dogan, which had already been fined 340m euros in February. The penalties — the largest ever imposed on a Turkish company — could become a hurdle for the country’s EU bid.
Dogan Media Group, which owns dozens of newspapers, magazines and TV channels, says it is being targeted because of an ongoing dispute with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). In March, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the public to boycott the Dogan’s newspapers, for allegedly smearing the AKP’s reputation through “baseless” corruption stories.
The articles contained allegations of government involvement in the defrauding of Lighthouse e.V., a charity founded in Germany by Turks. According to the media, millions of donated euros were embezzled and transferred to Turkey in 2007.