Firm, minister face maritime warfare
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
TAV chairman Hamdi Akın (R) speaks with Minister Yıldırım in this file photo. AA photoTransport Minister granted “extraordinary privileges” to IDO, the company running high speed ferries in Istanbul and neighboring cities and purchased by TAV, a Turkish daily newspaper claimed Dec. 6. Both the ministry and TAV have denied the claims.
“Privatized for $800 million last April, Turkey’s Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım issued a circular granting privileges to IDO,” said Yeni Şafak, a Turkish daily publication close to the government.
In addition to ferry operation rights, the minister was accused of granting the right to run land transport vehicles to TAV, one of the largest construction and airport ground handling firms, according to the daily. The ministry also provided the right to start up new ferry lines to 40 harbors across the country and construct new docks for its ferries, the daily said, accusing the minster of favoring TAV.
Yıldırım was the head of the IDO before he was elected as a member of the Turkish Parliament for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) during the 2002 general elections.
“We have initiated legal proceedings against the paper,” Sinan Çetin, press counselor for the Transport Minister told the Hürriyet Daily News. “I do not understand why the daily felt a need to publish such news. The claims are not true,” Çetin added.
“The accusations are groundless,” said TAV in an e-mail statement yesterday. The company would file a court case against the publication for damaging the company image through misdirecting public opinion, it added. “Competitiveness and transparency in business life cannot be achieved through groundless news accusing TAV and Turkey’s Transport Minister,” the statement said. k HDN