Owner of Turkcell fined by US court

Owner of Turkcell fined by US court

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Owner of Turkcell fined by US court

A man walks past a Turkcell store on Istiklal street in Istanbul. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

A U.S. court has charged Turkey’s Çukurova Holding, which owns Turkey’s biggest mobile operator Turkcell a series of fines ranging from between $10,000 to $50,000 for contempt amid the company’s attempts to secure control of, Turkcell, by raising billions for a separate case.

The case in New York involves majority stake-holder of Turkcell, TeliaSonera, which is pursuing $932 million in damages imposed on Çukurova by a tribunal of the Geneva-based International Chamber of Commerce, according to a Financial Times report.

 Nordic telecoms group TeliaSonera, who holds 37 percent of Turkcell, appealed to U.S. District Court requesting Çukurova to provide information about its corporate structure.

However, Çukurove refused to give any information claiming this case is directly related to its disputed case with Russian partner Altimo, which holds 13.2 percent of Turkcell.

As any U.S. assests Çukurova might hold is part of the information required by the court, Çukuorva declined it has assets or business in the U.S. and argued the demanded information would give advantage to russian company prior to U.K. court’s decision.

Britain’s Privy Council heard final arguments from Çukurova and Altimo last week over a disputed controlling stake in Turkcell, with a verdict expected in the coming weeks.

Turkish company also claimed there is an alliance between Altimo and TeliaSonera and Altimo is paying for TeliaSonera’s lawyers.

Altimo appropriated Turkcell stakes, which carries controlling rights, after Cukurova defaulted on a $1.35 billion loan in 2005. Çukurova had put the stake up as collateral for the loan.

Britain’s Privy Council ruled on Jan. 30 that while Altimo had been entitled to take over the stake, Çukurova also had the right to recover it if it paid the outstanding loan plus interest and costs.