879 companies worth TL 40.3 billion seized by Turkish gov’t since coup attempt

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Turkish police officers stand next to the Koza Ipek Holding building in Ankara on September 1, 2015, after they staged a major swoop on the Ankara-based offices of the media group critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and close to his political nemesis, the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. The raids are the latest crackdown against the powerful "Hizmet" (Service) movement of Gulen, a former ally-turned-foe who Erdogan accuses of trying to create a "parallel state" with the aim of overthrowing his government. AFP PHOTO/ADEM ALTAN / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

A total of 879 companies with a total value of TL 40.3 billion have either been transferred to Turkey’s state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF), or trustees have been appointed to their management by the government since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, data from the TMSF have revealed.

TMSF’s quarterly activity report for the January-March period, which was released on Wednesday, showed that the 879 seized companies as of March 31, 2017 are from 43 of Turkey’s provinces.

The total equity capital of the seized companies is TL18.1 billion, while their combined turnover is TL 21.3 billion, according to the TMSF report.

The number of employees in the seized companies is 44,888.

The TMSF report also revealed that a determination of value of 70 out of the 147 media organizations that were closed down by the government in the aftermath of the coup attempt has been completed.

Out of the 147 closed-down media organizations, 38 were TV stations and 39 were radio stations, while 70 of them were newspapers.

The Turkish 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, 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.

The government accuses the movement of masterminding the failed coup attempt  on July 15 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 organizations affiliated with the movement have already been seized by the TMSF over the course of the past three years.

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