President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has praised former media mogul Aydın Doğan, while thanking him on behalf of the country and the people in a ceremony held to mark 60th anniversary of Doğan Holding.
Doğan, who founded and ran Doğan Holding until 2010 and is currently the honorary chairman of the conglomerate, had a rocky relationship with Erdoğan before selling the company’s media arm to pro-government Demirören Holding in 2018.
He was repeatedly at odds with the President over the headlines published in the conglomerate’s once top-selling newspaper Hürriyet.
Doğan Media was fined $2.5 billion for unpaid taxes in 2009, in what government opponents saw as an attempt to crush media criticism of Erdoğan.
Following the tax bill, Aydın Doğan was forced to sell the group’s Milliyet and Vatan newspapers to Demirören.
During the ceremony, Erdoğan said thanked Doğan for his services, while praising his business life as a “success story.”
“In addition to being a successful businessman, he is a good culture and arts man,” Erdoğan said in the ceremony attended by journalists, business people and other high level current or former state officials.
“I would also like to stress his principled stance against the July 15 coup attempt,” Erdoğan also said, referring to the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt.
Coup soldiers raided the buildings of Hürriyet and CNNTürk, which both belonged to Doğan, on the night of the attempted coup and were met by resistance from the employees. The attempt was immediately condemned by Doğan Holding.
On the night of the attempted takeover, Erdoğan addressed the people through Face Time from CNNTürk – a call that changed the course of events due to the people flocking to streets to stop coup soldiers.
Doğan, meanwhile, said that he misses the media.
“It’s impossible not to miss the media. Of course I miss it and follow it,” Doğan told T24.
He also gave a speech during the ceremony, saying that he’s proud to be among the people paying the highest amount of taxes, while adding that he received an award from Erdoğan for being a tax champion.