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Oct 10 2018

500 workers walk out of top Turkish project in Africa

Five hundred people working at a leading Turkish investment project in Africa left work after the management failed to pay their salaries.

Some employees who turned up at the construction site in Senegal but refused to work were confronted by police, business website Patronlar Dunyasi reported.

Doganlar Yatirim Holding, which owns furniture brand Kelebek Mobilya, is building a wholesale undercover market in the Senegalese capital of Dakar that will be Africa's largest. The firm’s failure to pay salaries was a sign that economic troubles in Turkey are spreading to Africa, where many Turkish firms are active, the website said.

The workers had set a deadline of Friday for the company to pay their wages or they would resign, Patronlar Dunyasi said. Realising the seriousness of the situation, Doganlar paid up on Wednesday and the employees have now returned, it said.

Doganlar and Turkish partner Mildon signed a $105 million agreement with Senegal in 2016 to build the undercover market and a logistics centre.

Doganlar was established in 1970. It has focused on construction and energy investments in recent years, the website said.

Turkish companies operating in the energy and construction businesses have been particularly hard hit by a slump of about 40 percent in the value of the lira this year. Many who borrowed in foreign currency to expand their operations are now having repayment difficulties