Allegations cost Turkish title £80,000

A Turkish businessman has won £85,000 damages from a Turkish-language newspaper produced in Britain.

The newspaper, Avrupa, which is produced in north London, had published three articles, one on its front page, accusing him of defrauding the Turkish authorities.

It had alleged that Mr Gur had mis-stated the cost of a building project so that he could pocket the difference, and had diverted funds meant for a charity in the UK.

The newspaper had failed to defend Gur’s action.

The damages were boosted by Avrupa’s conduct after the start of the litigation, when the newspaper sought to publicise the allegations further at a public meeting and responded to the letter before action by carrying a front-page article headlined ‘Bring It On”. It also said it would never apologise.

Solicitor-advocate Phil Sherrell, a media lawyer with law firm Eversheds, who represented Gur, said: ‘Mr Gur was the subject of some very serious, but completely untrue allegations published by Avrupa newspaper.

‘Rather than apologise promptly, Avrupa chose to continue to attack Mr Gur throughout the course of the proceedings. The award of £85,000 damages is very high given the circulation of Avrupa and reflects the seriousness of the allegations and the court’s disapproval of Avrupa’s conduct.”

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