Jailed Turkish Businessman Taner Nakıboğlu, the owner of government-seized NAKSAN Holding, a Turkey-based packing company, said during a hearing on Tuesday that before his company was confiscated, he was the richest businessmen in Gaziantep province; yet his family now lives on the breadline.
“I once owned Europe’s biggest packing company. And I was the richest businessman in Gaziantep. We have not hidden money neither in Turkey nor abroad. Now, we depend on my mother’s retirement pension for a living. My wife has recently been granted poverty certificate by the state,” Nakıboğlu said during a hearing in which he is being tried on terror charges.
Since a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the Turkish government has been taking over the private property of non-loyalist businesspeople without due process on unsubstantiated charges of terrorist links.
NAKSAN Holding was seized by the Turkish government only several days after the coup attempt. The owners of the holding, Taner Nakıboğlu and Cahit Nakıboğlu were arrested by a Gaziantep court and put in pre-trial detention over alleged links to the Gülen movement.
The government’s crackdown on the movement, however, is not limited to the period following the coup attempt since the management of many organizations affiliated with the movement have already been seized over the course of the past three years.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said in July that the government had seized 966 companies from people allegedly linked to the Gülen movement. “In addition, 4,888 properties of those 966 companies were also seized and transferred to the Finance Ministry,” said Kurtulmuş.
These companies assets with more than a value of TL 40,5 billion [$11,45 billion] have been transferred to the state-run Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) since a July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Among the seized companies are more than 160 media outlets, that used to have critical editorial policies toward the government, and the large conglomerates such as Koza-İpek Holding, Boydak Holding, Dumankaya Holding, Kaynak Holding and Naksan Holding.
Akın İpek, the CEO of Koza-İpek holding until the confiscation, said 18 of the group’s confiscated companies alone worth over $10 billion.
The government’s crackdown against the group, however, is not limited to the period following the coup attempt since the management of many institutions affiliated with the movement had already been seized by the TMSF over the course of the past three years.
Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the movement.
Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges under the rule of emergency. Turkish government has also suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants thanks to the rule of emergency. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)