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Pro-gov’t Vatan daily halts print edition, becomes supplement of Milliyet

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Turkey’s pro-government Demirören Media Group on Wednesday announced that the Vatan daily would shut down operations and become a weekly supplement of another of the group’s newspapers, Milliyet, as of Nov. 1.

A relatively young publication established in 2002 under the Doğan Media Group, Vatan along with Milliyet was sold to the Demirören Group in 2011 for $26 million, according to the Habertürk news website.

In March 2018 the Demirören family, owner of the media group and a close friend of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, bought the entire Doğan Media Group for around $1 billion.

The group will keep GazeteVatan.com, the web edition of the newspaper, which had a daily circulation of around 100,000, running.

Veteran mainstream journalists such as Hasan Cemal and Can Dündar lost their jobs after the Demirören family’s purchase of Vatan and Milliyet in 2011. Hürriyet’s acquisition led to similar consequences as the editor-in-chief and several columnists left the media group.

The increasing cost of publishing has forced several other media groups to halt or downsize their print editions.

In July Habertürk, one of Turkey’s highest circulating newspapers, decided to terminate its print edition and continue with only its news website.

The country’s oldest economy newspaper, Dünya, also fired 40 of its staff and reduced its number of pages from 24 to 12.

Local newspapers have taken the greatest hit as their circulation is insufficient to cover expenses. Many of them have recently announced that they would do away with their weekend editions.

The biggest opposition newspaper, Sözcü, decided to stop running some of its weekend supplements due to a currency crisis that has led to an exorbitant hike in the price of imported newsprint.

Turkey has been experiencing a currency crisis, with the lira losing almost 40 percent of its value since the beginning of this year.

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