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Dogan family battles Turkish state over corruption claims

Dogan Group, one of Turkey's top family-owned conglomerates, is battling the country's government and its capital markets board as accusations fly about alleged corruption.

Chairman and president Aydin Dogan founded the company in 1958, which today owns nearly half of Turkey's print and broadcasting media plus 10 publicly-traded companies.

Last month, one of the group's newspapers accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of being involved in fraud – a charge he has strenuously denied, countering that it stems from a failed bid by the group to buy valuable land in Istanbul.

Then the Finance Ministry asked Turkish airline companies to report details of jet fuel purchases over the past five years – a move that directly affects Dogan's fuel distribution company Petrol Ofisi, the biggest provider of jet fuel to the country's airlines.

The stakes were raised even higher last week when SPK, the country's capital markets board, announced that it was recommending court action against Dogan and three other executives who, it alleges, have caused shareholder losses from purchases of overpriced newsprint through offshore companies owned by the Dogan family.

The Dogan family has rejected the accusation.

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