Turkey may transfer top gold mining firm Koza to sovereign wealth fund

Turkey may hand over Koza Altın, the country’s top miner of gold, to the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Dünya newspaper reported citing Muhiddin Gülal, the head of a state-run vehicle managing seized assets.

Gülal, chairman of the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund of Turkey (TMSF), said the company may be transferred to the Turkey Wealth Fund (TWF) due to the strategic nature of its operations, according to Dünya.

The Turkish authorities seized Koza Altın and almost 1,000 other companies after a failed military coup attempt in 2016. The government claimed that the businesses, worth over $10 billion, belonged to persons affiliated with Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, who it blames for masterminding the putsch.   

Koza Altın was owned by former billionaire Turkish businessman Hamdi Akın İpek, the chairman of the Koza-İpek Group of companies, which also included media assets. İpek resides in Great Britain. The British courts have rejected a request by Turkey to extradite him for trial.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has chaired the wealth fund, established in 2016, since he assumed vast new executive powers at elections two years ago. The fund's assets include state-run banks, Turkish Airlines and several energy companies. It acquired Turkcell, Turkey’s largest mobile phone company, last week.

Opposition politicians have accused Erdoğan of using the wealth fund to transfer state-owned companies away from public oversight.