Turkey is negotiating with Gulf Arab countries to sell the operating rights for Alsancak Port in the Aegean city of İzmir, in what would be the first major deal under Turkey’s push for foreign investment under its new economic team, Bloomberg reported.
“There are investment talks with countries in the Gulf region, and Alsancak Port is also in the scope of these investments,” Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloğlu told Bloomberg on Monday.
“Our friends met at the deputy minister level,” Uraloğlu said, without naming the would-be buyers or indicating the potential value of the deal.
The port is owned by Turkish sovereign wealth fund TWF and operated by national railway company TCDD. The wealth fund declined to comment.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will visit Gulf countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar later this month to attract investment, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
Alsancak can handle up to 1.2 million 20-foot equivalent units of container cargo and 1.4 million tons of general and bulk dry cargo per year, according to TCDD data.
The port was scheduled for privatization in 2004 and put out to tender in 2007. A joint venture including Hutchinson Port Holdings and Global Yatırım Holding submitted the top bid of $1.28 billion, but the deal was blocked by a court decision and the group later withdrew.