TOMA company shares jump 20 percent after Turkish PM vows to buy 10 for each one destroyed
A TOMA is seen in action in the Turkish capital Ankara. AFP PhotoThe infamous riot control vehicles with water cannons, popularly known as TOMAs, are not only good for Turkey’s security, but also apparently for its economy.
Shares in Katmerciler Ekipman, the company that manufactures TOMAs, have increased 20 percent in two days, after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the government would buy 10 new TOMAs for each one destroyed in recent street protests against the jihadist assault on the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane.
Davutoğlu’s words on Oct. 14 apparently heralded new horizons for Katmerciler, the shares of which were selling at 2.73 Turkish Liras on Oct. 16, up from 2.27 before he spoke.
The company, which is owned by a former Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy, İsmail Katmerci, emerged as one of the biggest winners from last year’s nationwide Gezi Park demonstrations. Proving that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, Katmerciler’s trademark TOMAs gained such international fame during the police crackdowns on protests that the company was able to enter a number of new markets, including Brazil and Libya.
Katmerciler has seen its operating profits skyrocket by 229 percent, up to 7 million liras from 2.1 million.
The company, which was established in 1985 and is based in the western province of İzmir, also produces less controversial vehicles, such as fire trucks and water tankers.