Turkey seized $11 billion of company assets – study

Turkey has transferred about 49.4 billion liras ($11 billion) of assets of 1,124 companies to a special fund under a crackdown that began following a failed coup in July 2016, a survey showed.

At least 850 of the companies were seized by the government since the coup and are now controlled by the Savings and Deposits Insurance Fund (SDIF), European Interest, based in Krakow, Poland, said in the study.

Among the companies are Boydak Holding, which controls 34 separate firms including the Bellona and Istaikbal furniture makers and retailers, which have 1,240 stories. Boydak employs 13,000 people and indirectly creates 110,000 jobs, European Interest said.

Other major firms include Koza, Dumankaya, Afka, Orkide, Sesli and Naksan, the news portal said.

Turkey has seized the companies under presidential decrees and their owners had no judicial recourse. The proprieters are allegedly members of the Fethullah Gülen movement, which Turkey’s government blames for orchestrating the coup. Trustees have been appointed to run the companies against their shareholders’ wishes.

The companies are active in all areas of business and trade such as investment, mining, petrol distribution, automotive, auto-gas, energy, transportation, food, agriculture, home textiles, furniture, jewellery, pharmaceuticals, law and IT, said European Interest, which is affiliated with the Gülen movement.

The value of the assets seized does not include those of 127 individuals, 19 unions, 15 private universities, 49 hospitals, 145 foundations, 174 media outlets, 1419 foundations and another 2271 education companies, it said.

The total value of all assets confiscated could total 100 billion Turkish liras, European Interest said.

This arbitrary violation of rights to property has a devastating effect on a county’s prospects for economic development, the news portal said.

“Insecurity among investors, domestic or otherwise, as to their investments often result in serious economic crises in countries like Turkey which is heavily dependent on foreign investments and consequently impoverish not only dissidents but also supporters of their respective regimes.”