Hundreds of companies seized in probe into Turkey’s failed coup attempt

Hundreds of companies seized in probe into Turkey’s failed coup attempt

ISTANBUL
Hundreds of companies seized in probe into Turkey’s failed coup attempt

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The Turkish authorities have seized hundreds of businesses as part of the probe into the failed July 15 military coup attempt, issuing detention orders for dozens of businesspeople, some of whom have been arrested. 

The authorities then said 4,262 companies and institutions had been shut over alleged ties with the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), said to be behind the coup attempt. 

The chief prosecutor in Istanbul had on Aug. 18 ordered the confiscation of the properties of 187 suspects, including Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) Chairman Rızanur Meral, Aydınlı Group Chairman Ömer Faruk Kavurmacı, Eroğlu Chair Nurettin Eroğlu and two brothers who run two separate Güllüoğlu Baklava chains. The decision to confiscate the properties was taken under a statutory decree published as part of the ongoing state of emergency in Turkey. The assets of 21 businesspeople were then seized.

Eroğlu, whose company employs 16,000 people, said he had no links to any company providing financing to the Gülen movement, and he was later released by the prosecutor’s office. Nejat Güllü and Kavurmacı are still detained.

One of the biggest business holdings to which trustees have been appointed is Boydak Holding. A Turkish court on Aug. 18 appointed trustees to Boydak Holding, which has 41 companies in various sectors, over alleged ties with FETÖ.      

A local court in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri appointed five trustees to the company, according to a judicial source.

A former executive at the holding, Hacı Boydak, and three other executives – Şükrü, İlyas, and Bekir Boydak – were detained in early August, while a court in Kayseri ordered the release of the holding’s chairman, Mustafa Boydak, and another executive, Halit Bayhan, on probation that included an international travel ban.    
Meanwhile, a trustee board was on July 23 appointed to the Gaziantep-based Naksan Holding and its 56 companies, which employ around 7,000 people, in line with the same probe. The owners of the company, Cahit and Taner Nakıpoğlu, were arrested in late July, while Ferhan and Emre Nakıboğlu were released on probation.

The assets of the owners of Dumankaya Construction were also seized in late August due to their alleged financial support to FETÖ. Police also detained Fikret İnan, the owner of the large construction business Fi Yapı, on Aug. 16.


‘Himmet’ money transfers

A total of 102 employees of Akfa Holding and its 44 companies were detained on Aug. 26, with 32 of them sent to court with demands for their arrest. Some 18 of them have since been arrested on accusations of “being a member of the terror organization, creating financing for it and asset laundering.” 

Detainees working at Akfa Holding reportedly helped with “himmet” money transfers between 2011 and 2015, said to amount to $40 million, via Bank Asya, to organizations in the United States and Canada.

A probe has also been opened against the owners of supermarket chain A101, which has over 6,000 stores across Turkey, upon their suspicious transactions with Akfa Holding. Turgut Aydın and his son Yaşar Aydın were released following the prosecutor’s interrogation on Aug. 19. 

In line with police operations in the Aegean province of İzmir and other cities in the region, the owner of Orkide Yağlar, a leading vegetable oil maker, Ahmet Küçükbay, was arrested on Aug. 26. The owners of Kavuklar Holding, which employs 2,000 people, as well as Kamil Karakaş, the owner of Atlantis Jewelry, were detained in early August. There has been no trustee appointment or seizure request for their companies. 

The former CEO of Turkey’s Petkim petrochemical complex, Sadettin Korkut, was also arrested in İzmir in early August. Some 200 employees at Petkim, owned by Azerbaijan’s state-run oil company Socar, were also suspended.