Azerbaijan’s semi-official news agency APA has criticized several reports in Turkey claiming there are ties between a number of senior SOCAR employees and the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
APA also said such reports have led to discomfort on the Azeri side and have the potential to harm bilateral relations as well as Turkey’s investment environment.
A number of reports in pro-government Turkish media outlets last week claimed that there were close relations between the Gülen movement - a former ally turned bitter foe of Turkey’s government - and top SOCAR executives.
The APA report refuted the claims in a long analysis posted on Oct. 30.
“In SOCAR’s human resources policy, there is no room for discrimination on religious or national identity.
SOCAR considers people’s professional background, business mind and potential benefits to the company in hiring employees,” it stated.
“There are many foreign companies that are active in Turkey … The spread of these claims in each segments of the economy will damage foreign companies’ activities in Turkey and may deteriorate the country’s investment environment,” the APA report added.
It also stated that the recent reports aimed to slander the SOCAR executives and ultimately open their jobs up to other candidates close to the circles pushing such claims.
Published on Hurriyet Daily News, 1 November 2015, Sunday