Turkish Deputy PM says gov’t confiscated 527 companies since coup attempt

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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli speaks to press members as cabinet meeting continues at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on September 07, 2016.

A total of 527 companies have been transferred to the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) since a July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli told reporters on Monday.

Two hundred seventy-one of them are subsidiaries of nine large conglomerates,” Canikli said, adding that the government has confiscated 30 such holdings in total since July 15.

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

Among the large conglomerates that have been recently confiscated by the TMSF are Koza-İpek Holding, Boydak Holding, Dumankaya Holding, Kaynak Holding and Naksan Holding.

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 as a terrorist organization despite the lack of any court verdict to that effect.

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

The government accuses the movement of masterminding the 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 management of many institutions affiliated with the movement had already been seized by the TMSF over the course of the past three years.

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

Minister for Environment and Urbanization Mehmet Özhaseki said on Sept. 1 that some TL 12 billion (about $4 billion) in property had been transferred to the Treasury as part of an investigation into the movement.

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