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Now Garanti Bank hit by Taksim Square Supporters

4 June 2013

Doğuş Media Group, which owns numerous state television channels in Turkey, has been accused of not giving the Taksim Square news the importance and publicity it deserves. Indeed coverage of the events has been somewhat limited in comparison to other media outlets worldwide, especially in Arab countries who are keen to see if this becomes a ‘Turkish Spring’.

The Doğuş Media Group, which has part ownership of Garanti Bank has faced indirect action over accusations of a partial media blackout. During the last week, depositors have withdrawn some TL 40 million in protest, while also cancelling more than 1,500 credit cards with the organisation.

Garanti Bank General Manager Ergün Özen, said that while he understood the reasons for the customer actions,he was quick to point out that the numbers were only a small part of the bank’s operations. As the third largest bank in Turkey (in terms of assets), it’s assets include more than TL 95 billion and services more than 8.5 million credit card holders – making the protest figures minute in comparison.

Mr Özen further stated that there had been a demonstration in front of the bank’s headquarters near Besiktas in Istanbul. The protested had claimed that their anger was directed at the bank rather than its employees. Mr Özen told the demonstrators that ‘the bank is its employees‘ and that many staff had left work each night to go and demonstrate in Taksim Square. After that, the protesters left.

Similar protests happened outside the office of NTV, a Turkish nationwide television news channel, amidst accusations of limiting news coverage.

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