Public tenders valued at millions of dollars to supply electric power to ministries, universities and other public institutions in Turkey have been awarded to Cengiz Holding and Limak Holding, both of which are known to be close to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, the Birgün daily reported on Wednesday.
Cengiz and Limak are also among five holdings that have won nearly all the large tenders in Turkey during the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and are two of the world’s top 10 private sponsors of public infrastructure projects for the years 1990 to 2020, according to World Bank data.
Among the electric power tenders won by Limak Holding are contracts for the Presidential Strategy and Budget Office, the General Directorate of Forestry, the Coast Guard Command and the Directorate of Bursa Yenişehir Airport, valued at TL 1.547 million ($209,000), TL 1.413 million ($191,000), TL 13.356 million ($1.8 million) and TL 1.544 million ($209,000), respectively.
Limak also won tenders for Hacettepe University, Erzincan Binali Yıldırım University and Bandırma Onyedi Eylül University, worth TL 23.074 million ($3.1 million), TL 2.872 million ($389,000) and TL 1.663 million ($225,000), respectively.
An answer by the Ministry of Youth and Sports to a parliamentary question posed by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Mustafa Adıgüzel also revealed that the ministry awarded tenders to Limak Holding to supply electric power to its 64 provincial directorates.
Birgün also reported that Cengiz Holding won tenders for the Turkish Parliament, the Treasury and Finance Ministry, the Ministry of Industry and Technology and the Security General Directorate, valued at TL 12.932 million ($1.75 million), TL 9.889 million ($1.34 million), TL 3.424 million ($464,000) and TL 45 million ($6.1 million), respectively.
The holding was also awarded a TL 3.405 million ($462,000) tender for Çankırı Karatekin University and a TL 6.247 million ($847,000) tender for Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University.
Cengiz Holding first came to public attention in Turkey in late 2013, when Turkey was shaken by the news of two corruption investigations in which senior ruling AKP politicians were involved.
The company’s owner, Mehmet Cengiz, who has been awarded numerous public contracts — including the construction of İstanbul’s third airport — during the 18 years of AKP rule, was heard in wiretapped phone conversations cursing the Turkish people.
The opposition parties accuse Cengiz and Limak Holding CEO Nihat Özdemir, among others, of tender-rigging and claim they are among Turkey’s biggest tax evaders.