CHP deputy slams presidential decree granting lucrative subsidies to pro-gov’t businessman

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MAY 09 : Former Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (3rd L) receives information from Chairman of the Executive Board, Ethem Sancak during the 13th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF'17) in Istanbul, Turkey on May 09, 2017. Arif Hudaverdi Yaman / Anadolu Agency

Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aykut Erdoğdu has slammed a presidential decree granting lucrative government subsidies to a rail carriage manufacturing subsidiary of BMC owned by Ethem Sancak, a businessman close to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying that while the business world is suffering in Turkey, government resources are being lavished on the pro-government businessman.

“So we’re asking why we’re heading to bankruptcy [and blaming] foreign powers!” Erdoğdu tweeted.

According to the presidential decree issued on Aug. 2, Sancak’s investment will be exempt from taxation, including value added tax and customs tax, as well as enjoying a corporate tax break and government support for income tax and the employer’s national insurance contribution.

In addition to this, the decree foresees a salary incentive for qualified personnel that the firm hires, support for bank loans and payment of 50 percent of energy bills for the next 10 years until total energy expenditure reaches TL 12 million ($2.3 million).

Sancak’s company BMC automotive made a lucrative deal in July with Turkish electronics defense contractor ASELSAN worth €94.6 million.

Sancak, the only businessman bidding in the tender, bought the giant BMC automotive company in 2014 for $62 million from Turkey’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF). It had been confiscated from a Turkish businessman due to insolvency.

Sancak has publicly praised President Erdoğan several times, with a most notorious comment making headlines in 2015 in which he said he had fallen in love with Erdoğan, later qualifying it as “a divine love between two men.”

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