State council annuls exemption of privatizations from law
ANKARA - Hürriyet
Turkey’s refinery Tüpraş was included in the scope of privatizations in 1990. DHA PhotoThe State Council has suspended the execution of a decision taken by the Cabinet to exempt privatizations from jurisdiction rule.
Turkey’s highest administrative court appeared to rule that the cabinet decision bypassing judicial rulings was non-compliant with law in an Oct. 25 meeting.
Lawyer Nilgün Öğüçlü had filed a lawsuit with the State Council against the Cabinet decision, suggesting it was against the state of law principles and the Constitution.
The Constitutional Court has also annulled the Cabinet decision in October, ruling that the bypassing of the law in privatization was unlawful.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies had taken the decision to the Constitutional Court.
The Cabinet had taken the decision at the issue in June 2012, in order to void prior legal rulings that cancelled the privatization of the Tüpraş, Eti Alüminyum, the Seka, Kuşadası and Çeşme ports.
The Cabinet had based its decision to privatize these entities on the “practical impossibility” of implementing the initial judicial rulings. The Cabinet has the power not to implement judicial rulings that cancel privatizations made after the final share transfer agreements are signed, thanks to an omnibus bill that had come into effect earlier.
TENDERS AT ISSUE
• Turkey’s refinery Tüpraş was included in the scope of privatizations in 1990. Two attempts, one in 2004 and other in 2005, to privatize the company were stopped by courts after Petrol–İş (Turkish Petrolchemical Tire Workers Union) filed lawsuits against the process. Koç conglomerate and its minority partner Shell acquired 51 percent of Tüpraş in a 2005 tender.
• Ofer was also a partner of the consortium which won the tender that awarded the operation rights of Kuşadası port in 2003. But the tender was canceled last year, as the winning consortium was not the highest bidder.
• Çeşme port was privatized the same year and Ulusoy Holding won the operation rights of the facility. The tender was canceled in 2005 by the court as the Competition Authority was not included in the process. But Ulusoy Holding continues with its operations at the port.
• The Balıkesir facility of paper producer Seka was sold to Albayraklar Holding in 2003. Despite a judicial ruling stopping sales the facility was not handed back to the public authority.
• Seydişehir Eti Alüminyum, an aluminum raw and rolling products producer, was sold to Cengiz Holding in 2005 as part of privatizations.