Company seized for alleged links to Gülen sold to pro-government firm at lowest price
The Turkish Competition Authority has cleared the sale of a company owned by Naksan Holding, at one time one of Turkey’s largest companies before it was seized by the Justice Party government and the Development (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan following a 2016 coup attempt, to a pro-government company at a very low price, Turkish Minute reported, citing news portal TR724.
A recent decision by the authority allowed the Turkish Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) to sell Naksan Plastic Economic and Commercial Integrity from Naksan Holding to Aby Plastik Ambalaj, a pro-government plastic packaging company, for TL 1.2 billion ($81.7 million), which is one-fifth of the company’s real value, according to Turkish media.
Naksan Plastic’s products include pallet covers, heavy duty bags, greenhouse covers, mulching films, industrial shrink films, stretch films and printed bags.
TR724 said that in the event of a sale, either the TMSF or the buyer would also have to pay Naksan Plastic’s current debt of TL 7.521 billion ($512 million).
The Competition Authority’s decision comes after Dilek Güngör, a columnist for the pro-government daily Sabah, claimed in an article in March that the 3rd Criminal Chamber of Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeal would decide within 20 days to transfer ownership of Naksan Holding and the Koza-İpek Group to the government.
The Turkish government seized Naksan Holding, which comprises more than 50 companies operating in various sectors including industry, energy, construction and transport, appointing administrators to replace its board of directors over their alleged links with the Gülen movement, a few days after the aborted putsch on July 15, 2016.
In addition to Naksan Holding, the TMSF has taken over major conglomerates including Dumankaya, Boydak Holding, Koza Ipek Group and Kaynak Holding among 880 other private companies, according to Turkish media.
Ankara considers the faith-based movement inspired by Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen a terrorist organization and accuses Gülen and members of his movement of orchestrating the coup attempt. Gülen and the movement strongly deny any involvement in the failed putsch or any terrorist activity.
Following the failed coup, the AKP government launched a massive purge targeting the Gülen movement under the guise of anti-coup struggle and cut over 130,000 people from civil service jobs.
The government has also seized schools, universities, media, businesses and buildings as well as the assets of individuals, companies and organizations suspected of having links with the movement.
No figures are available to verify how much personal wealth and how many assets were seized by Erdoğan’s government during the massive post-coup purge that is still ongoing in Turkey.