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TURKEY

Turkey’s media market consolidation has continued over the past year with the sale of the country’s largest media group to a pro-government conglomerate.


Demirören Holding acquired Doğan Media Company in a USD916 million deal, approved by the competition authority in May 2018. The transaction involved the transfer of print and broadcast assets, including Hurriyet newspaper and broadcaster CNN Turk.  


Ahmet Bugra, Partner at Oncel, Aydin, Duman, Uygun Attorney Partnership, said:  “The past year can be summarised in to two major stories. Economic recession and the collapse of the lira, and the acquisition of Doğan Medya Group by Demirören Medya Group for a record breaking USD916 million.”

 

The deal raised concerns over media independence and pluralism. Erol Önderoğlu, Turkey Representative at Reporters Without Borders said: “This sale means the death of pluralism and independent journalism in Turkey’s mainstream media.”


Mr Önderoğlu continued: “The government now has complete control of the media in the run-up to general elections in 2019.”

Other developments over the past year include currency and market volatility. In August 208, lira depreciation reached a historic low.


Mr Bugra explained: “While the economic crisis affected all sectors and players in the Turkish market, it brought new challenges for media companies. With the demise of the lira, production costs went through the roof and many productions outside of Turkey came to an abrupt end.”


He added: “Due to the rise in licensing costs, production companies that usually licensed foreign content had to shift their focus to local productions. Moreover, broadcasting companies that employed expats had to renegotiate terms and in some instances had to let go of their foreign-currency paid staff.”


Lawyers say that data protection was also an important area of focus for industry participants. Elif Aksöz, Partner at Gokce, noted: “Data protection was a significant trend since data controllers registry opened recently.”

TIER 1

Lawyers at ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law have extensive experience advising media-sector clients. The team works on a range of cases including the launch of new media platforms, film productions and distribution arrangements. Prominent practitioner Gönenç Gürkaynak is the firm’s key contact for media, entertainment and information technology law.


Gün + Partners has a high profile portfolio with clients from the broadcast and music sectors. Areas of specialisation include internet, private broadcasting and electronic communication. The firm’s service areas include advisory, transactional, dispute resolution and compliance. Clients single out Ugur Aktekin and Aslı Dilara Bayat for their diligence.


Pekin & Pekin’s media and entertainment team operates under the management of the  corporate practice, combining expertise in the area of tax, banking and dispute resolution. Corporate transactions account for a significant proportion of the firm’s work - with deals involving the print industry. Founding partner Ahmed Pekin manages the full-service practice, which has been operational for over four decades.


TIER 2

Birsel Law Offices has significant experience assisting local broadcast companies and digital platform operators on acquisition deals. Lawyers advise on legislation, regulatory restrictions and licensing matters. Founding partner Mahmut Tevfik Birsel works with Begum Durukan Ozaydin advising on business structures, licensing and assignment of rights.


Çağa & Çağa Law  Firm acts for magazines and newspapers, entertainment companies and advertisers. The team advises on media-related investments, management and re-organisations. Lawyers provide cross-practice assistance on tax and commercial disputes. S. İdil Çağa Değerli and Erdem Değerli are the firm’s primary contacts for sector-related cases.


Cerrahoğlu Law Firm’s experience includes merger and acquisition advice to radio channels. The firm represents world-leading media companies, advising on media legislation and commercial law. The team negotiates a number of corporate transactions between Turkish partners and global media corporations.


The TMT group at Güner Law Office works with some of the country’s largest media companies advising on regulatory and transactional matters. The practice also has a dedicated intellectual property practice, specialising in all aspects of copyright. Founding partner Ece Güner manages the firm, which is also known for its litigation and arbitration expertise.   


Specialising in advertising, media and entertainment, NSN Law Firm  routinely assists advertising agencies, radio broadcasters and television producers. Lawyers have in-depth knowledge of the gaming sector, with experience assisting computer games companies and intermediary firms conducting sweepstakes and contests. Key practitioners Selma Ünlü and Nazlı Selek advise on local and multinational media cases.  


TIER 3

Litigation specialist Cahit Suluk has significant experience in the area of rights protection. Founding partner Cahit Suluk is highly regarded litigator and established figure in the legal market. In related work, the team advised Turksat, the country’s only cable television operator, on re-transmission rights. In other work the team assisted with sublicensing issues relating to a television series screened on local

television channels.


Öncel, Aydın, Duman & Uygun Attorney Partnership combines e-commerce, IT and media law under one practice group. With particular focus on mergers and acquisitions, the team advises on investments, compliance and legislation. Lawyers are also experienced in handling copyright and advertising disputes.


TIER 4

Gültekin Law Office has two decades of experience advising clients in the media sector. The firm works with clients on media-related investments, management and organisation and daily operations. Other core areas of emphasis include advertising regulations and licensing.  



Ranking and editorials

TIER 1

ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law

Gün + Partners

Pekin & Pekin


TIER 2

Birsel Law Offices

BTS & Partners

Çağa & Çağa  

Cerrahoğlu Law Firm

Güner Law Office

NSN Law Firm


TIER 3

Cahit Suluk  

Esin Attorney Partnership (Member firm of Baker McKenzie)

Öncel, Aydın, Duman & Uygun Attorney Partnership

Soydemir Hukuk Bürosu

Şengüler & Şengüler

Taboğlu Attorneys at Law


TIER 4

Çigdemtekin Dora Çakırca Aranci   

Gokce Attorney Partnership

Goksu Safi Isik  

Gültekin Law Office



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