Turkish official says 252 companies seized over Gülen links

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Şakir Ercan Gül

Government-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) President Şakir Ercan Gül announced on Tuesday that the government has seized a total of 252 companies in Turkey.

The government has been confiscating the private property of non-loyalist businesspeople without due process on unsubstantiated charges of terrorist links.

The companies are alleged to be connected to the Gülen movement, a civic initiative based in Turkey, with the government coining the term “FETÖ” to designate the movement a terrorist organization despite the lack of any court verdict to that effect. A court last week in fact ruled out the existence of such an organization named “FETÖ.”

The government accuses the movement of masterminding a July 15 coup attempt even though the latter denies involvement, demanding credible evidence.

The government’s crackdown against the movement, however, is not limited to the period following the coup attempt since the managements of many institutions affiliated with the movement have already seized by the TMSF over the course of the past three years.

The time that the government publicly declared war against the movement coincided with allegations in 2013 of widespread corruption that implicated four then-Cabinet ministers, which were given extensive coverage by the Gülen-affiliated Zaman Media Group at the time.
Among the large conglomerates that have recently been confiscated by the TMSF are Koza-İpek Holding, Boydak Holding, Dumankaya Holding, Kaynak Holding and Naksan Holding.

In separate investigations, the government also confiscated the assets of many businessmen it considers linked to the movement.

Akın İpek, the CEO of Koza İpek Holding until the confiscation, said 18 of the group’s confiscated companies alone were worth over $10 billion.

The government also seized Turkey’s then-largest Islamic lender, Bank Asya, over its ties to the movement.

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