Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on governors and the police to enforce a recently instituted ban on Uber and similar transportation systems, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
“There was Uber. It is finished. There is no longer any such thing in Turkey,” Erdoğan said at an iftar dinner in İstanbul on Friday.
“It [Uber] exists in Europe. I don’t care. We have made our decision on it. The governor has the authority on this issue. Our interior minister has already given the order. There will be no private taxi system, Uber and that kind of thing. The police will take the appropriate steps,” Erdoğan added.
Erdoğan also called on taxi drivers to increase the quality of their services in order to prevent consumers from seeking alternate transportation.
After a move by the Turkish government to prohibit the use of vehicles for Uber services, the company announced on Wednesday that they are loyal to business in Turkey and have a long-term commitment to the country.
“We want to work in cooperation with all related local partners in order to develop transportation options in Turkish cities, and we are committed to Turkey as a long-term loyal business partner until the end,” a statement issued by Uber said.
On May 25 the Turkish government changed a regulation governing road transport and increased the fines applied to D2 certificate holders who illegally serve as taxis, according to the Hürriyet Daily News.
D2 certificates allow private companies to conduct the business of unscheduled, contract-based passenger transportation without fares. The new regulation foresees that if a driver uses a D2 certificate for other than a taxi business, 50 points will be applied to the driver’s record, which can be canceled with a payment of TL 3,000. A second infraction will lead to a two-year ban on operating under a D2 certificate.
Taxi drivers celebrated the “death of Uber” following the announcement of the regulation.
There are almost 5,000 Uber drivers in İstanbul, where they have recently received threats and even been assaulted by taxi drivers.