Ertuğrul Özkök resigns.

update: 05 Jan 2010 (Aydın Doğan is gone, too)

Probably one of the most reviled Turkish journalist, Ertuğrul Özkök resigned from his position as the Chief Editor of Hürriyet. His Wikipedia portrayal is ironic:

Ertuğrul Özkök is a Turkish journalist and a daily columnist, currently the editorial writer for Hürriyet, a daily newspaper published in Turkish in Turkey and some European countries. Özkök is known for advocating modernization of Turkey, globalization, women’s rights and Turkey’s European Union accession. He is also known with his strong relationships with Turkey’s and Europe‘s top politicians, journalists and businesspeople.

His resign is a turning point. I believe he could not handle the political process. He is probably the most pragmatic journalists Turkey has ever seen. He was a big time flatter when AKP first assumed government. But then his long fight against AKP began. Maybe because Doğan Media Group (DMG) that owns Hürriyet -it seems that-could not handle its economic relations with AKP and as the best hitman of DMG, Mr Özkök’s fight began. This seemingly liberal, urban, intellectual and westernized Turkish journalist played a significant role in striking Turkey’s civil and relatively government. I strongly believe he was a major figure in creating a tense political climate that was anti-EU and anti-US. Now that Turkey’s untouchable military strongholds are under civilian gaze, and DMG backs off, Mr. Özkök lost raison d’etre…

Just heard that (30 Dec 2009) Aydın Doğan, the president of Doğan Media Group, resigned, too. His daugters will lead the Group from now on. Like Mr. Özkök, Aydın Doğan lost the game, it seems. Explicitly blackmailing the government did not work and he will go back to his businesses and new faces will continue the Media work…

Turkish Media Mogul Aydin Dogan Quits Amid Tax Row (Update1) – BusinessWeek

Esra Arsan has a good short piece on Mr. Özkök’s resignation here in Turkish. I don’t really agree with some of the arguments there but I strongly agree with her conclusion. As the flagship Hürriyet backs off, there may not be any major opponents of AKP government in Turkish media and we might see the arise of citizen journalism. However, the nature of this journalism is a wonder. Ms. Arsan names the situation as a “civilian coup d’etat”, that is the process that leads the resignation of Mr. Özkök. If this can easily be called a coup by a critical minded journalism professor, I wonder what ordinary anti-AKP citizens will think… As if Hürriyet and Doğan Media Group did represent anything called civilian. As if we haven’t lived the tense recent years where military based assault against AKP was leading the country into a regime of nationalist oppression. I wonder if pro-AKP citizens start doing journalism, this will be labelled as  partisan and dismissed or appreciated a little bit…

Ertuğrul Özkök’s last column as the Chief Editor. A sum of 20 years as a chief editor. His role models, his approaches. Nice piece to read. He is always a readable columnist.

The most eulogic column for Mr. Özkök is written by Ahmet Hakan Coşkun, an ex-Islamist who is re-born in the secularist camp. The former was the patron/mentor of the latter. So the latter pays his best tribute now:)

Legacy of Ertuğrul Özkök

?It was a good life,? Ertuğrul Özkök said and left. Don?t think this quoted sentence was translated because this article is in English. The former editor-in-chief of a Turkish newspaper beneath whose logo is the most primordial slogan of the crudest form of fascism, ?Turkey belongs to the Turks? (Hürriyet), it seems, did not remember any Turkish phrase as he bid farewell to his colleagues.

When Özkök goes…

Now people are saying that the Hürriyet newspaper and Ertuğrul Özkök did not properly understand the most recent period of Turkish history, nor the sociological factors it entailed. This is completely incorrect.

2 thoughts on “Ertuğrul Özkök resigns.

  1. Dear Erkan, read Bernard Bouwman his book ‘My Istanbul’. he nailed Ozturk down as a vazal of Ayden…

  2. I think you should read the Hurriyet of 31 december 2009. Mr Oktay Eksi, chief columnist of the paper, a very respected and serious personality of Turkis Media, states that Mr Ertugrul ÖZKÖK was very successfull and democratic Manager who changed a lot in the Paper to make it more modern,objective,independent.
    He run the Paper for 20 years despite many opposants,criticisim and personal attaques ! This is a challange and good performance in my opinion.

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