Cabinet bypasses judicial rulings

Cabinet bypasses judicial rulings

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Cabinet bypasses judicial rulings

Turkey’s oil refiner Tüpraş has undergone several privatization attempts. DHA photo

A cabinet decision bypassing prior judicial rulings, which cancelled the privatization of the Tüpraş, Eti Alüminyum, the Seka, Kuşadası and Çeşme ports, went into effect on June 12.

The cabinet 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 gone into effect before.

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. In 2005 14.76 percent of Tüpraş was sold to Israeli conglomerate Ofer, but the sale did not materialize due to a court ruling. However, Koç conglomerate and its minority partner Shell acquired 51 percent of Tüpraş in a 2005 tender, and the remaining shares are traded on Istanbul and London stock exchanges, according to its official web site.

Kuşadası and Çeşme ports

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.

The Council of State canceled the sale decision in 2007, but the ruling was never implemented.
CHP deputies will appeal to the Constitutional Court against the cabinet decision, the oppositional Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Akif Hamzaçebi told daily Hürriyet.