AKP gov’t has privatized state-owned assets worth $62.3 bln in 19 years: report

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A recent report by a main opposition deputy has revealed that Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has sold $62.3 billion in assets, including 300 million square meters of public land, during its 19 years in power, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Friday.

The report, drafted by Republican People’s Party (CHP) Ankara deputy Tekin Bingöl, showed that $70 billion in state-owned enterprises have been sold since 1986, when privatization was first implemented in Turkey, with $62.3 billion of them put on the market during the AKP’s 19-year-long rule.

“Where are the deeds to 300 million square meters of our country’s land, we ask. They have sold the people’s factories and industrial plants saying they have ‘privatized’ them, and then ate up the $62 billion they received in return,” Bingöl said, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP government.

“When they couldn’t find anything else to sell, they thought of [selling] public land,” the MP argued, describing the sales as “looting” and “plundering” to emphasize that the land had been sold for far lower than its actual value.

According to data from the Ministry of Treasury and Finance’s Privatization Administration (ÖİB), the state-owned shares of nearly 400 private companies were sold between 1986 and 2019, with $39 billion of the $46 billion in sales taking place under AKP rule.

ÖİB data further showed that 3,000 pieces of real estate belonging to companies privatized between 1986 and 2021 had been sold. Some $3.7 billion of the $3.9 billion total sales, which included assets owned by the Turkish Electricity Distribution Corporation (TEDAŞ), Turkey’s biggest petrochemicals company PETKİM and the Turkish Sugar Refineries Corporation (Türkşeker), took place under AKP rule.

In the 15 years between 2005 and 2020, 72,053 real estate parcels covering an area of 309 million square meters were sold by the AKP government, which has received nearly TL 12.5 billion ($1.5 billion) from such sales within the past five years, according to local media reports.

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