Thoughts and Observations on Turkish Economy and financial markets. Turkiye Ekonomisi, Borsa, Dolar, Altin, Faiz, Teknik Analiz, Grafik, Hisse Senetleri...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bureaucrats, Media Bosses and the Takeover of a Failed Bank

Does this add up to corruption? You decide:

One of the transcripts that was seized from an Ergenekon suspect's home is the record of a phone conversation between then BDDK Deputy President Ali Vural and Veli Dural, a board member of Doğan Holding, a Çukurova rival, and also owner of the biggest media group in Turkey. The call occurred at 5:30 p.m. precisely two days before June 18, 2002, the day the bank was taken over. The BDDK bureaucrat asks for media support to shift public opinion in favor of the takeover during the phone conversation.

The BDDK's Vural also calls a man he refers to as Mr. Anderson, the deputy chief consultant of Citibank at the time, on the morning of June 18, 2002, the day of the takeover. Mr. Anderson stated that the business group he represents is irritated by the Çukurova Group, noting that Turkey's economy will improve again with the help of Kemal Dervi?, the economy minister during the post-economic crisis period in Turkey. It is not clear why Mr. Anderson's bosses were uneasy about Çukurova.

Aydın and Yılmaz arrange the deal

In response to a question on the Pamukbank deal, Vural tells the Citibank chief consultant: "Sir, do not worry at all about that deal. Everything was handled personally by Mr. [then Deputy Prime Minister Mesut] Yılmaz and Mr. Doğan [Aydın Doğan, head of the Doğan group]."
In the same conversation, Mr. Anderson says: "This holding has grown so big it now spells trouble for us. The people I represent are very unhappy about this. The company will be distributed as we have planned."

'I will teach Engin a lesson'

In a conversation between Yılmaz and Vural on the morning of June 18, Yılmaz tells Vural that he will remove BDDK chief Engin Akçakoca from office. Yılmaz asks Vural: "Why hasn't Engin called me? Why isn't he calling me about this?" and Vural replies, "I don't know, sir." Yılmaz then states: "Tell me the truth, where is Engin? He is finished. I will replace him. I am thinking of you instead of him, what do you say to this?" Vural replies: "As you deem fit, sir. He told me to call you. He says he gets sick of your questions." Yılmaz replies: "So that's how it is. The prince needs to learn his lesson. I will teach him his lesson once he gets this over with."