State hits Doğan Media Group with new $2.5 bln tax fine

Tax officials announced a record-breaking fine against the Doğan Media Group, DMG, totaling $2.5 billion. The fine is the second to come after February’s $592 million levy and renews concerns of political interference as it comes in the further wake of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call to the public earlier this year to ‘boycott’ the company’s newspapers. The record fine is based, according to a statement from DMG, on Finance Ministry findings that the DMG concealed 2005, 2006, and 2007 profits that stemmed from the share transfers among the partners and avoided payment of the Corporate Tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) on the revenues from the share transfers.

This new fine dwarfs the previous record fine of $592 million and renews the belief in some circles that the fines are politically motivated and designed to crush the opposition media. President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said in March that the feud between the government and DMG threatened pluralism and freedom of the Turkish press.

Source: Hurriyet Daily

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