Libya takes hold of assets owned by Turkish citizens

Libya takes hold of assets owned by Turkish citizens

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Libya takes hold of assets owned by Turkish citizens

Members of the Libyan supreme security council gesture in their vehicles as they pass the Martyrs’ Square on 30 May. REUTERS photo

Libya has taken a cautionary judgment on the assets of 338 institutions and individuals, including some belonging to Turks, owing to suspicions that these entities had links with the Gadhafi regime, daily Hürriyet reported yesterday. No transaction will be allowed regarding the accounts of these entities and people. Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan is scheduled to visit the North African country on June 10, the ministry announced.

“The situation is complicated [in Libya] at the moment. There is a nationalizing process, but [sources say] that this judgment was made by mistake,” said Emin Sazak, the head of the Turkish Contractors Association (TMB).

Libya and Turkey have signed a deal to mutually protect investments, said Sazak, adding, “the [Libyan authorities] seem to be acting against the agreement. The Turkish government will exert efforts [on this issue]. We, both the Ministry of Economy and the TMB, are investigating the situation. [There is] no need for irritable reactions.”

Nearly 200 of the sanctioned assets belong to real persons, he said, noting that it was an action against people and firms related to the previous regime.

Fettah Tamince, the owner of Rixos Hotels, said mostly state company activities have been stopped temporarily.

“Foreign companies are obliged to get at least a 35 percent local partner to set up a company in Libya. [The current government] is not allowing the conduct of any transaction until a new government is [elected].”

Economy Minister Çağlayan will attend the inauguration of several buildings constructed by Turkish contractors free of charge, and discuss the return of Turkish real estate developers to the Libyan market, according to a press release issued yesterday by the Ministry of Economy.

The management of the assets of some of the companies has been put under the oversight of an official receiver until Libya’s general elections in June, the statement said.