Turkish government defends tender ban on Dogan


– Reimposition of ban on conglomerate – owner of Hurriyet newspaper – is ‘legal decision’ says energy minister

ANKARA – Turkey’s energy minister on Wednesday defended the decision to bar one of the country’s leading conglomerates from bidding for public contracts.

Taner Yildiz said the decision against Dogan Holdings and Petrol Ofisi, announced in the Official Gazette earlier in the day, was “not related to today’s debates”.

The Dogan group has a number of interests, including the Dogan Media Group, publisher of the Hurriyet newspaper.

According to the official notice, the Council of State, Turkey’s highest administrative court, ordered Dogan and Petrol Ofisi to serve the remaining 237 days of a one-year ban on tendering for government contracts.

The ban was imposed in 2009 after Petrol Ofisi, a fuel retailer then owned by Dogan, breached a contract with the Energy Ministry. Dogan sold the company the following year and the ban was later overturned by court order.

“The prohibition is a legal decision that came after four to five years of judicial process,” Yildiz said at an energy investment ceremony in Ankara.

“During the judicial process, we implemented all decisions coming from the courts, for and against,” he added.

The ban will run across all sectors of government tenders, Yildiz said. (AA)