Turkish PM violates markets' law with his remarks on Dogan Group

Turkish PM violates markets law with his remarks on Dogan Group

The Turkish prime minister’s attack on the country’s largest media company, which resulted in a drop in the group’s stock prices, constitutes a crime punishable with 2-5 years imprisonment according to the Securities Exchange Act.

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Shares of Dogan Group companies fell the most in two months in Istanbul trading on Monday after Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan made harsh statements about the business dealings of company chairman, Aydın Dogan.

Erdogan has reached boiling point recently after a string of recent scandals involving him and other members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and launched a campaign against Turkey's largest media group, Dogan Group, because of its publications on the fraud scandals.

Erdogan’s threatening remark, "All the black books will be opened, if you do not make it to public in a week, I will," constitutes a crime according to Article 47 of the Securities Exchange Act for generating concerns among smaller investors leading to losses.

According to the related article, those who affect the values of mediums in equity markets with false, wrong, or misleading information or those who do not make clear information they are obliged to impart, and those who cooperate with these people, can be sentenced to 2-5 years imprisonment.

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There are nine Dogan Group companies listed on the ISE, including Dogan Holding, Dogan Yayin Holding, Hurriyet daily, and Milliyet daily. The group’s losses ranged from 1.6 percent to 5.9 percent in Monday trading, while the stock market closed 3.58 percent up. The fall in Dogan shares cost the group a total of $228 million in Monday trading.

Erdogan accused Dogan of using his publications to falsely tie the ruling Justice and Development Party to a case involving the misappropriation of donated funds, saying Dogan’s efforts emanated from the government's rejection of demands made to issue favors in regard to the group's other business interests.

Dogan responded to Erdogan's claims saying the group was being blackmailed by the government and rejected the recent attempts to suppress the free media in Turkey.

The market watchdog, Capital Markets Board (CMB), is required to submit a criminal complaint on the circumstances that generated speculative moves in a price of a stock.

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However, small investors can claim compensation from Erdogan for the losses caused by his remarks on the Dogan Group.

 

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