CHP: Turk Telekom privatization ‘looting of the century’

The privatization and subsequent poor management of the formerly state-run telecommunications firm Tandurk Telekom has resulted in billions in losses, which opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) deputy Aykut Erdoidu called the and”looting of the centuryand” in a statement on Tuesday.
Erdoidu claimed that the company was valued at around TL 40 billion when it was sold in 2005, although due to bribery the company was sold for only TL 11.5 billion. Stressing that the poor management and improper practices implemented by management since 2005 have resulted in a loss of TL 34.8 billion to the Turkish economy, Erdoidu said that additional losses of TL 63 billion are likely through 2026. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has engaged in the privatization of numerous facilities, companies and institutions in the past decade, initiatives that have occasionally been met with opposition.
Critics of recent privatization initiatives have argued that much of the infrastructure being opened to privatization includes important public resources that should remain in the hands of the state. They have also argued that tenders which generally include the rights to manage a facility or company for a specific period of time are frequently awarded to firms close to the AK Party.
Dubai-based Oger Telecom, which is partly owned by Saudi Telecom, holds 55 percent of Tandurk Telekom while the Turkish government has a 32 percent stake in it and 13.3 percent is traded on Borsa Istanbul (BiST) after Turkey privatized the stake for $1.87 billion in 2008.