Turkey media tycoon dies at 79


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ISTANBUL: One of Turkey’s leading businessmen who owns the country’s largest media group, Erdogan Demiroren, died of respiratory failure at an Istanbul hospital on Friday, his doctor said.

Demiroren, 79, is head of the Demiroren Group — one of Turkey’s largest conglomerates with interests in media, energy and construction.

His doctor Ozgur Samilgil Erdogan said Demiroren had received treatment for a while but lived until his death “without any suffering with the care of his family as well as the intensive efforts of the hospital personnel.”

“We offer condolences to our country and his relatives,” he said, in a live press conference broadcast on the private CNN-Turk television.

Just two months ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections, Demiroren Group in April purchased Turkey’s largest media group, the Dogan Media Group, which owned major media brands such as the Hurriyet daily and CNN-Turk news channels.

With the takeover, the Dogan Media Group was renamed Demiroren Media Group and the sale was seen by critics as a blow to independent journalism.

Demiroren was widely seen as close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son Yildirim is the head of the Turkish Football Federation.

President Erdogan sent a message of condolence.

“Veteran industrialist and businessman Erdogan Demiroren who achieved major accomplishments in his career and who made valuable contributions to our country will always be remembered with gratitude.”

The funeral will take place at an Istanbul mosque on Sunday.—AFP