(Bloomberg) --

An Istanbul shopping mall owned by Turkey’s biggest media empire was seized after the company failed to repay some of its debt, the latest blow from a series of unpaid loans.

Denizbank AS, the Turkish unit of Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, said it took over the 19,000 square-meter Demiroren Shopping Mall in the heart of the touristic Taksim area from Demiroren Holding AS over the debt, without giving further details.

Demiroren is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with interests spanning media, real estate, energy and betting. In 2018 it bought the Hurriyet newspaper and CNN Turk TV channel for almost $1 billion and refashioned them as pro-government outlets.

But repayments on the loans it used to finance the acquisitions came under strain as audience numbers fell and the lira weakened against the dollar.

The group started talks to restructure around $1.5 billion of loans in 2021, more than half of it with state lender Ziraat Bankasi AS. Ziraat and its real estate unit have since seized land and another Istanbul building from Demiroren over its debts.

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