Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Sunday that a tank tread company belonging to the Turkish military will be operated by BMC for 25 years, the owner of which is a well-known supporter of the president.
The owner of BMC, Ethem Sancak, has publicly praised President Erdoğan several times, with his 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.”
Reporting on the story, the Diken news site noted that there has been no tender for the transfer of the company to BMC, which also has Qatari partners.
Defending the transfer of a military-owned company to the private sector, Erdoğan said that BMC is a strong company and that it will only improve its facilities in Sakarya province. He argued that after this investment, not only workers, but also the military and the nation will win while those who slander Sancak will lose.
In August, Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aykut Erdoğdu slammed a presidential decree granting lucrative government subsidies to a rail carriage manufacturing subsidiary of BMC owned by Sancak.
The opposition deputy had claimed that government resources were 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 foresaw 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.