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Turkey’s Habertürk daily decides to abandon print edition

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Habertürk, one of Turkey’s mainstream newspapers, has decided to put an end to its print edition due to a decrease in reader interest in paper, the holding company’s media head Kenan Tekdağ told his staff in an e-mail.

Thursday’s edition of the daily, which has been published since March 1, 2009, will be the last. Latest figures show Habertürk had a circulation of around 180,000.

Habertürk is widely considered a pro-government news outlet, with many critics arguing that newspapers owned by businessmen with diverse holdings are not able to escape government pressure.

“In the last five years in our country, the circulation numbers of print newspapers have been steadily decreasing and their share of advertising shrinking, whereas printing costs are regularly increasing and the Internet and TV’s shares of advertising are surging,” Tekdağ said in the e-mail.

The company’s website and TV station will continue to operate.

In that five-year period Turkish newspapers lost almost 1.5 million in circulation, while 45 newspapers have been closed under an ongoing state of emergency.

Growing costs have also led publishers to do business online, a necessity especially for government critics, with a recent report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and the University of Oxford pointing out that “[M]ost of the news outlets which can criticise the government are online, and the internet is the main news source for people who oppose the government.”

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