Turkish police detain head of Boydak Holding

By bne IntelliNews September 16, 2015

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Turkish police detained executives of Boydak Holding on September 16, in a crackdown on alleged supporters of the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s former ally-turned foe.

The detentions of 11 people in the city of Kayseri  is the latest in the government’s campaign against “the parallel state”, a euphemism for the Gulen network. Erdogan claims that followers of Gulen have infiltrated the country’s judiciary and police force, and that they orchestrated the corruption scandal in 2013 which targeted Erdogan’s inner circle. Erdogan accuses Gulen and the parallel state of plotting a coup. Gulen denies the claims.

Police earlier this month raided the offices of the Gulen-affiliated Kaynak Holding and the Koza-Ipek Group on suspicion of providing financial support to the so-called “Fethullahist Terrorist Group”.

The crackdown on Gulen-linked businesses and opposition media has caused deep concerns over the politicisation of the judiciary and threats to the freedom of the press. Prosecutors on September 15 launched an investigation into Turkey’s largest media group Dogan for alleged terrorism propaganda. Police also this week raided the offices of the weekly news magazine Nokta and detained its editor-in-chief for insulting the president.

Those detained in Wednesday’s crackdown include Memduh Boydak, CEO of the unlisted Boydak Holding, which is active in the energy, textile, and finance and furniture sectors. Boydak Holding, which has 14,000 employees, had a turnover of more than TRY6bn (€1.76bn) last year.

Boydak Holding and the members of the Boydak family have stakes in the Islamic lender Turkiye Finans. Saudi Arabi’s National Commercial Bank owns 67% of the Islamic lender. 

Memduh Boydak also serves on the board of directors of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) with which Erdogan has been at odds. The president accused the former chairman of TUSIAD Muharrem Yilmaz of treason in January 2014 when Yilmaz commented that foreign companies would not invest in a country where there was no respect for the rule of law. Erdogan in April slammed Cansen Basaran Symes, the new chairwoman of the business group, for her critical remarks about the state of the Turkish economy and lack of reforms.

 

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