Main opposition leader calls for nationalisation of Turkey's gov't-linked businesses


Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called for the nationalisation of Turkey's government-linked businesses on Wednesday, Yeniçağ newspaper said.

Key economic policies of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are leaving the country burdened with debt for decades to come, especially after the 2018 lira crisis, Kılıçdaroğlu said during a television programme.

The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, which allows private companies to build and then operate infrastructure permanently or temporarily, has become a huge source of income for government-linked businesses, CHP leader said.

The PPP model includes guaranteed income for tender winners for public infrastructure projects for periods of up to 25 years. Since this income is fixed to foreign currency rates and paid by the Treasury, the cost to taxpayers has ballooned with the lira's slide in value since the beginning of a currency crisis in 2018. 

Kılıçdaroğlu said that the same group of large companies that are linked to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had won the lion's share of tenders and made a fortune in taxpayer's money as a result. He said that while Erdoğan's government professed to follow nationalist policies, these companies had sought the cover of international law to protect their profits from seizure by the Turkish state.

"These companies secured guaranteed income from the state in dollars. I will call them. I will say that I am converting the guarantee into liras. If they do not accept, them I am going to nationalise the companies," Kılıçdaroğlu said, discussing what he plans to do if his party comes to power.