October 30, 2014

TUSKON to sue dailies over disputed land reports

Leading Turkish business group, the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) said on Thursday it will soon file lawsuits against certain government dailies which published allegations of irregularities regarding disputed land in İstanbul.

Following a government decision earlier this week, a tender for a large parcel of land in İstanbul, which was previously won by TUSKON, was reopened despite a prior court decision barring such a move. Although it acquired the land in İstanbul's Yenibosna district in a tender put out by the Finance Ministry back in 2011, TUSKON said, the same land was offered in a tender to other entrepreneurs on Monday this week. Following the tender, government dailies Sabah, Yeni Şafak and Yeni Akit published reports including false information and slander targeting TUSKON, the confederation said on Thursday, adding that it had commenced legal proceedings against the “smear campaign.”

TUSKON said in a written statement on Thursday that the confederation denies the information published in some of the pro-government dailies.

The confederation acquired the land in 2011 in a tender put out by the Finance Ministry, and agreed to rent it for 49 years at a price of TL 1.6 million per year. However, earlier this year, the Prime Ministry attempted to cancel the ongoing authorization process, which had already been extended on two occasions. A subsequent court decision resulted in a stay of execution which barred the cancellation of the process. However, according to TUSKON's statement, a new tender was opened for the 36,000-square-meter piece of land on Monday by Emlak Konut GYO -- a subsidiary of the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) -- in defiance of the court decision. A total of 13 companies participated in the first session of the tender process on Monday.

Published on Today's Zaman, 30 October 2014, Thursday