Turkish police detained the chief legal advisor and a former chief executive of Dogan Holding, one of the country’s biggest conglomerates, on Thursday in a probe into the network of a U.S.-based cleric blamed for a failed coup, sending its shares tumbling.
Dogan – which has interests in media, finance, energy and tourism and owns newspaper Hurriyet and broadcaster CNN Turk – said the raids were only on the personal offices and homes of the two individuals and that its operations were unaffected.
Its shares fell as much as 9.9 percent after the market opened, although they later recovered somewhat to trade down 3.7 percent at 0.78 Turkish lira ($0.22) by 0706 GMT. Hurriyet fell as much as 7.6 percent.
Last month, another Dogan Holding executive, Barbaros Muratoglu, was remanded in custody on an accusation of “aiding a terror group” as part of an investigation into the exiled Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and his followers. Ankara refers to the group as the “Gulenist Terror Organisation”.
In its statement to the Istanbul stock exchange, Dogan said Thursday’s detentions were part of the same investigation.
“The search has been carried out solely in the personal offices of the mentioned executives and there is no situation that has an impact on the operations of our company or its subsidiaries,” the statement said.
Since the failed coup in July, in which more than 240 people were killed, the authorities have detained, dismissed or suspended some 120,000 people including soldiers, police officers, teachers, judges and journalists, although thousands have since been restored to their posts.
More than 41,000 people have been jailed pending trial out of 100,000 who have faced investigation.
Hundreds of companies, many of them smaller provincial firms, have also been seized.
Dogan Holding itself has not been formally accused of any wrongdoing and has disavowed links to Gulen.