Economic downturn in Turkey leads to selling of country’s only financial daily

Turkey’s sole financial daily newspaper Dunya has been sold to its former Editor-in-Chief Hakan Guldag over problems in repaying its debts Sozcu daily reported on Thursday.

Founded in 1981 by Nezih Demirkent, Dunya daily is seen by many people in Turkey as the equivalent of the UK’s Financial Times. Demirkent’s daughter Didem Demirkent, took over the management of the daily in 2001, following the death of his father who had served as the editor-in-chief for 20 years.

Demirkent explained in a written statement that it is not possible for the company to continue operating under her management because it could not overcome the impact of a contraction in Turkey’s economy and its increasing debts.

“As we all know, our company has become unable to operate both due to Turkey’s shrinking economy and our own increasing debts,” she said on Thursday.

The former owner also stated that they decided to sell the paper to Guldag because they were sure that he would remain committed to its values as its former editor-in-chief.

The Dunya newspaper managed to stay in business during a series of economic crises in the 1990s and a financial crisis in 2001. Unlike most of the Turkish newspapers, the financial paper remained an independent media outlet that has not received financial support from any business group.

Since the Turkish lira hit record lows last year, a number of Turkish companies have been wrestling with cash flow problems and paying their mostly foreign-currency denominated debts.

Following a 28 percent decline in 2018, the currency has lost almost 10 percent of its value this year.

Economists warn that the positive quarter-on-quarter growth in the first three months of 2019, which came after a recession in the second half of last year, may only be temporary due to Turkish government’s failure to address the structural problems in its economy.

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