Top Turkish steel company seeks bankruptcy protection

A leading Turkish steel producer sought bankruptcy protection from the courts after it failed to repay its debts, Hurriyet newspaper reported.

The court in Gebze, an industrial zone near Istanbul, appointed two financial inspectors and a lawyer to the company, ÇEL-MER Çelik Endüstrisi, and will re-hear the case on Sept. 17, the newspaper said.

Turkish companies are finding it increasingly expensive to repay loans after the lira slumped against the dollar and interest rates on lira debt surged. The currency has sunk more than 20 percent against the dollar this year.

ÇEL-MER was established in Istanbul in 1986 and was the first Turkish company to produce polished steel. It exports its products to neighbouring countries and to the European Union, according to Hurriyet.

The company also operates in the automovile sector, agriculture, white goods, machinery production and the defence industry.