Aslıhan Bozkurt from the Planning Department of THY confirmed on phone the cancellation of the purchases, saying THY’s complimentary services are being restructured and that these two publications are no longer in the plans of the company.
Today’s Zaman tried to reach THY’s corporate relations to ask the rationale of THY’s decision to no avail. The company also failed to respond to the questions via email.
Although the company is reluctant to disclose the major grounds on which it basis its decision, but it seems to be something in common with the anti-corruption news in the Zaman group publications and the other media outlets. THY, a public company whose 46.43 percent shares are in the possession of the Turkish Privatization Administration (ÖİB) and the rest being traded in the Bourse İstanbul (BİST), seems to be openly discriminating against the free press and punishing it with such petty measures like cutting its purchases.
THY has been drawing attentions for girding itself with an increasingly hostile attitude towards the Hizmet movement. Recently, for instance, THY brand consultant Serdar Öztürk sent a blasphemous Twitter message about Muslim Scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose sermons inspired a globe-size movement of education and of tolerance and dialogue. The tweet stirred a massive outrage online, but the company hasn’t imposed any penalty against its worker so far, despite Chairman Ali Topçu’s announcement that “the necessary step will be taken.” Actually, he lapsed into silence when groups which openly identify themselves close to the ruling party AKP lambasted him and that he will see consequences if he touches Öztürk.
The decision to silence the press at a time when the news about the largest corruption case, which includes accusations about ministers, prominent businessmen and some mayors from the AKP broke, can be seen as a move to obscure the voice of opposition.