"The political power of the pashas would not be so deeply rooted if it did not also draw on substantial economic and financial resources."
~ Eric Rouleau, former French ambassador to Turkey.
~ Eric Rouleau, former French ambassador to Turkey.
Gordon Taylor has an important post up at his place about OYAK: and TSKGV, the business entities of the paşas:
No one is quite sure of the exact rank of the two funds' holdings. Like the tides of finance, they ebb and flow, claiming new divisions while leaving others behind. Oyak Bank, for example, was recently sold to ING of the Netherlands, while they have made other moves with their steel operations. But there is little doubt, as the excerpt I am about to quote will make clear, that together they occupy a place in the very top echelon of Turkish corporations.
Any reader can find out more from this article in Fortune, or simply by Googling "OYAK Group" and scrolling through the vast hit list. OYAK (an acronym for Army Pension Institution) makes steel; it makes cars, roads, and buildings out of that steel; it makes portland cement for concrete, uses that concrete (and of course their own steel) to build hotels and businesses, runs the businesses themselves to make more money, uses their own banks to fund more businesses, builds golf courses, apartment blocks, and vacation villages for retired military officers, sells insurance to those businesses, builds and runs supermarkets, grows food for those markets, makes pesticides for the crops that it makes into food that it sells in its supermarkets--have you heard enough? They even own professional soccer and basketball teams. Oh, and all of their profits are tax-free.
He also quotes Eric Rouleau, who usually writes pretty well on Turkey:
The triumvirate formed by the army, big business and state bureaucracy is protected by a battery of constitutional and legal provisions. Its influence increases when the balance of political power leans in its favour, when opposition in society declines, or when - as has been the case in recent years - politicians are increasingly discredited. Under these circumstances the political parties, parliament, government and media merely acquiesce when the military disregard the rule of law.
Read the whole thing as there are plenty of links throughout for further enlightenment.
Of course, the paşas' business interests are not confined to the "territorial integrity" of Turkey, as mentioned on Rastî in January of this year:
Turkish corporations in South Kurdistan provide heavy financial support to KDP- and PUK-affiliated press and broadcast organizations in order to divert the people from the real face of current military operations, by broadcasting advertisement and variety programs.
Turkish corporations in South Kurdistan began to support KDP- and PUK-affiliated press and broadcasting organizations. At first, the KRG warned Southern media to cut off broadcasting about PKK. Now it has been revealed that Turkish corporations have given over $1 million as "gifts", for advertisement, and as tax.
Immediately following Turkish military operations in South Kurdistan, Turkish corporations which have marketing shares there, such as Oyak, Arçelik, Ülker, Nursoy, and Gürbağ, started to broadcast variety programs on TV, radio, and other satellite-based broadcast media which are affiliated with the KDP and PUK. It is believed that the goal of these attempts is to distract people from Turkish military operations.
KDP General Secretary Fadil Mirani's broadcast organs, such as Vin TV, are heavily supported by Turkish corporations.
Arçelik-Ülker and OYAK corporations organize street competitions and variety programs through Korek Telecom and AsiaCell telephone service operators, which are affiliated with KDP and PUK. These operators promise to give gifts ranging from $100 to $1,000 USD for text messages sent.
Arçelik had promised to deliver large appliances and electronics through the regional and satellite-based TV. As an example, when Turkish military operations began on 16 December, Arçelik started delivering large appliances, such as refrigerators, televisions, washing machines, ovens, and the like, to the people.
In addition, Arçelik is operating a lottery in South Kurdistan. Using the Bayram and New Year holidays as a pretext, it promised to give a brand new car, money, and such gifts to the people.
In addition to this, OYAK, Ülker, and the other Turkish corporations are arranging competitions on the streets where golden Kurdistan flags, made by Southern Kurdish jewelers, are delivered to people.
Note that Arçelik, Ülker, Nursoy, and Gürbağ are Fethullahcı companies, and I'm willing to bet that the leadership of South Kurdistan won't stiff the TSK or the Fethullahcı like it did İlnur Çevik.
Also, take a look at a possible imminent execution of a Kurdish teacher by the evil mullah regime and possible action that can be taken to stop it. I have not seen anything yet to indicate the execution has been carried out. More on Farzad Kamangar, from HRW:
“Farzad Kamangar’s case highlights how human rights abuses have become routine in Iran,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Kamangar was tortured, subjected to unfair trial and now faces execution.”
On February 25, Branch 30 of Iran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced Kamangar to death on charges of “endangering national security.” The prosecution claimed that Kamangar is a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
According to Kamangar’s lawyer, this trial violated the Iranian legal requirements that such cases must be tried publicly and in the presence of a jury. He also told Human Rights Watch that court officials ridiculed his requests that they follow mandated legal procedures.
Authorities arrested Kamangar in Tehran in July 2006 and held him in various detention centers in Kurdistan, Kermanshah, and Tehran. Kamangar claims that during a period of detention in Unit 209 of Evin Prison in August 2006, officials tortured him to such an extent that they had to transfer him to the prison clinic to receive medical attention. Kamangar also alleges torture and ill-treatment while in detention in the cities of Sanandaj in Kurdistan province and Kermanshah.
Kamangar’s lawyer told Human Rights Watch that the first time he met his client, Kamangar’s hands and legs were shaking as a result of mistreatment during detention and interrogation. Kamangar himself outlined the details of how he was tortured in a letter written from prison. Human Rights Watch has obtained a copy of this letter.
Prior to his arrest, Kamangar worked for 12 years as a teacher in the city of Kamyaran, where he was on the governing board of both a local environmentalist group as well as the local branch of the teachers’ association. Kamangar wrote for the monthly journal Royan, a publication of the Department of Education of Kamyaran. He was also a writer with a local human rights organization that documents human rights abuses in Kurdistan and other provinces.
Just another fine example of why PJAK fights.