Turkish police to buy 65 new vehicles with water cannons

Turkish police to buy 65 new vehicles with water cannons

Turkish police to buy 65 new vehicles with water cannons

A TOMA poses in action during a crackdown in Ankara. AA Photo

Katmerciler Ekipman has announced that it has won the tender to supply Turkey's national police force with 65 riot control vehicles with water cannons, known as TOMAs, in a written statement issued to the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP) on Oct. 28.

“Five companies submitted their offers to a tender that was initiated by the General Directorate of the National Police to buy 65 TOMAs. Our company won the tender by giving the lowest price at 13.6 million euros. The deal has been signed with the Turkish authorities,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) submitted a parliamentary question asking the government about alleged irregularities in the deal on Oct. 26.

CHP Deputy Chairman Sezgin Tanrıkulu asked Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in a parliamentary question whether the government had declined to follow a transparent tender process for the purchase of 65 TOMAs, but instead secretly awarded the deal to local developer Katmerciler, which is owned by a former AKP deputy.

Shares in Katmerciler Ekipman jumped over 20 percent in two days after 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 gains for Katmerciler, the shares of which rose from 2.27 Turkish Liras before he spoke to 2.73 liras on Oct. 16.

The company 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.