A Turkish pro-government retail company has asked a daily critical of the government to remove an article on supermarkets' fraudulent practices from its pages to give an advertisement.
BİM was planning to give an advertisement to Milli Gazete, but asked for an article that revealed the supermarkets' failure to sell meat at cheap prices that they received from the General Directory of Meat and Milk Board to be removed.
"This page was supposed to feature a BİM ad today, but it was withdrawn after the advertiser's demand to censor a story was denied," read the page on Milli Gazete that was supposed to be featuring BİM's ad on Dec. 31.
Bir sansür girişimi— Millî Gazete (@milligazetecom) December 31, 2020
Bugün bu sayfada BİM reklamı olacaktı ancak reklam verenin "Haber Sansürü" taleplerinin kabul edilmemesi üzerine reklam geri çekilmiştir...
Gelişmeler detaylarıyla birlikte ilerleyen süreçte okuyucularımızla ve kamuoyuyla paylaşılacaktır. pic.twitter.com/5jOSSL7www
"The developments on the issue will be shared with our readers and the public in the following days," said the daily, which is known for being close to the Islamist opposition Felicity Party.
Mustafa Kurdaş, the editor-in-chief of the daily, said that they kept the interest of the public above their own interests.
"This can be taught in communication faculties as a method of censorship. A report that concerns the public's 100 million Turkish Liras is in question here," Kurdaş said, referring to the loss that occurred as a result of the supermarkets' failure to sell meat at cheap prices.
The Agriculture Ministry cooperated with supermarkets to sell meat at cheap prices between 2017 and 2019 in order for all citizens to be able to purchase them. According to Milli Gazete's report, a number of these supermarkets didn't sell the meat they obtained from the board and hence, causing the public to lose 100 million liras with this method of misselling.
The incident was revealed when inspectors from the ministry looked into the reports of misselling. Milli Gazete said that Forestry and Agriculture Minister Bekir Pakdemirli didn't allow the prosecutors to launch an investigation into the supermarkets' fraudulent behavior.