President of Turkey’s state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) Muhiddin Gülal has announced that the Turkish government has appointed trustees to 932 companies valued at a total of TL 57.9 billion over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Monday.
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.
The government accuses the movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 although the movement denies any involvement.
Gülal said shareholder equity in the companies is TL 21.2 billion and turnover is TL 31.7 billion, while their assets are valued at TL 57.9 billion.
The TMSF president said there are a total of 44,306 people working for these companies.
“We will punish the individuals who belong to this group in the strongest terms possible while remaining within the boundaries of the law, but we will not punish the companies. Each of these companies is part of the national wealth, and they make a significant contribution to the economy,” said Gülal.
The government’s crackdown on the movement is not limited to the period following the coup attempt since the management of many organizations affiliated with the movement had already been seized by the TMSF over the course of the past five years.
Gülal also said the TMSF is working to take over assets owned by Gülen followers in countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, the UK, Europe and the US.
In February Kyrgyzstan’s Supreme Court ruled to transfer the assets of Turkish company Kaynak Holding to TMSF over suspected links to the Gülen movement.
In 2015 Turkish authorities appointed a trustee to run 19 of Kaynak Holding’s companies.
Kaynak Holding also had a branch of NT stationery chain stores in Kyrgyzstan, whose shares were transferred to Turkish national Emin Kızılkaya after the assets of the holding were seized in Turkey.
The Kyrgyz court cancelled the transfer and decided to pass on the assets to the TMSF instead.