Join us on

Turkcell

Turkcell

Industry: 
Telecommunications
Value of USG Contracts: 
1
Symbol: 
NYSE:TKC
Country: 
Turkey
Sources: 

"Turkish mobile phone company Turkcell has taken to a South African court with its $4.2 billion lawsuit against rival MTN Group, alleging it was the victim of corruption and bribery that caused it to lose a contract in Iran. Turkcell originally pursued the case against Johannesburg-based MTN in the United States but dropped it in May after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a separate case made clear that U.S. courts would not have jurisdiction in a claim involving two foreign firms in an overseas dispute. In papers filed on Tuesday with the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg and seen by Reuters, Turkcell says that MTN, former CEO and current Chairman Phuthuma Nhleko and former executive Irene Charnley 'acted wrongfully' and interfered with Turkcell's relationship with the Iranian government over the granting of a mobile licence in 2005. Turkcell accuses Africa's largest mobile operator of 'corrupt acts' - including promises of bribes and the giving of gifts to Iranian and South African government officials - to secure the licence. It also alleges that MTN promised to influence the South African government's vote at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran's nuclear programme in 2005 and 2006. MTN said in a statement: 'Although we don't have details of the case, MTN continues to believe that there is no legal merit to Turkcell's claim and will accordingly oppose it.'" (Reuters, "Turkcell sues MTN in South Africa for $4.2 bln in Iran damages," 11/27/13)

--

"The year-long internal investigation led by UK judge Lord Leonard Hoffmann dismissed allegations brought by rival Turkcell that MTN had got its Iranian licence through corrupt means. Turkcell has since dropped its US$4,2bn law suit but the sudden departure of MTN finance chief Nazir Patel has brought the matter to the fore again. According to the Sunday Times, his resignation relates to attempts to get money out of the country. But despite the cloud hanging over it , the Iranian operation has been a great investment for the mobile operator. It contributes 10% of MTN's total revenue and the company holds 47% of the Persian market . . . Those worried that the Iranian operationwill drag down MTN's valuation need not fret. 'Most valuations I've seen exclude Iran,' says Frost & Sullivan research analyst Masego Mbaakanyi. This does not mean there's no chance of exiting Iran. 'There is a possibility, if the status quo does not improve,' says Chireka. She says the decision to leave would likely be driven by its inability to bring cash back to SA. 'The problem is that's beyond its control. If it were an operational issue, it could still do something about it' . . . [If MTN chooses to sell] Chireka speculates that other contenders could be some operators in the Middle East; even Turkcell could make an offer. If Turkcell does make an offer (unlikely), don't be surprised if MTN charges it an extra R300m to recoup the costs of defending itself against Turkcell's corruption allegations ." (FM, "MTN in Iran: should they stay or go?" 8/8/13)

--

"Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS (TCELL) withdrew a lawsuit against MTN Group Ltd. (MTN) over bribes MTN allegedly paid to get an Iranian mobile-phone license, citing a Supreme Court decision that bars such cases in the U.S. Turkcell, based in Istanbul, told U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton in a court filing today in Washington that it would drop the case because of the Supreme Court's ruling last month on the Alien Tort Statute. The case had been on hold while the Supreme Court decision was pending. Turkcell, Turkey's biggest mobile-phone company, sued its Johannesburg-based rival in March 2012 for $4.2 billion in damages over the loss of the Iranian license it was initially awarded. Turkcell claimed MTN, Africa's largest mobile-phone operator, bribed officials, arranged meetings between Iranian and South African leaders, and promised Iran weapons and United Nations votes in exchange for a license to provide wireless service in the Islamic Republic." (Bloomberg, "Turkcell Dismisses Suit Against MTN over Iran License," 5/1/13)

--

"The government has confirmed that SA's ambassador to Iran, Yusuf Saloojee, has been suspended and recalled to SA while he is being investigated for allegedly taking bribes from cellphone company MTN to help it win an operating licence in Iran. International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told Parliament in July that Saloojee was being investigated on the charges that arose from allegations by the Turkish cellphone company Turkcell in a US court . . . [Nkoana-Mashabane] also repeated a previous statement that another ambassador had not been suspended and wasn’t being investigated for accepting a bribe. Though this other ambassador was not named in the parliamentary questions, Maynier had identified him as Abdul Minty, SA’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, who was SA’s representative on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna in 2006. Turkcell, which had been awarded an operating licence in Iran before it was switched to MTN, has claimed in the US court that Minty opposed sanctions against Iran at the IAEA in 2006 because MTN had bribed the SA government to do so. Nkoana-Mashabane said earlier that Minty had been instructed by the SA government to oppose sanctions against Iran and that this instruction had nothing to do with MTN." (IOL News, "Envoy recalled over alleged MTN bribe," 10/19/12)

--

"A U.S. court has delayed ruling on a $4.2 billion suit by Turkish mobile operator Turkcell against South African rival MTN Group , pending a Supreme Court decision on a separate case, the two companies said... The court has put the suit on hold, the two companies said in separate statements late on Friday, to await a Supreme Court decision on a different case using the Alien Tort Statute - the human rights law on which Turkcell's suit is based...Turkcell said in a statement it welcomed the decision, adding it believed U.S. courts had clear jurisdiction over the case. MTN said it expected Turkcell's claim to be disposed of after the Supreme Court issues its decision in Kiobel. It was not immediately clear for how long the suit would be put on hold. Turkcell said the suit would be pushed back by several months, while MTN said a decision in Kiobel was likely to happen by the end of June 2013. Several U.S. legal experts have told Reuters that Turkcell may not get much further with the suit because the case has only tenuous links to the United States. Turkcell was originally awarded a mobile licence in Iran in 2004 before a disagreement over the terms of the deal prompted an about-face by Tehran, which awarded MTN the licence in 2005. Turkcell says MTN lobbied the South African government to support Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for winning the contract, and bribed officials from both governments." (Reuters, "U.S. Court delays ruling on MTN $4.2 bln Iran suit," 10/13/2012)  

--

"MTN Group Ltd. (MTN), Africa’s largest wireless operator, asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS over a mobile-phone service deal in Iran, saying the core of the case has 'no conceivable' connection to the U.S. MTN, in a filing today in Washington, said Turkcell is improperly trying to use the Alien Tort Statute to bring a commercial dispute between a Turkish company and a South African company before a U.S. court. The 1789 law, usually cited in human rights and torture cases, gives U.S. courts jurisdiction in some instances to consider claims by foreigners for illegal conduct that occurred in another country. 'This is not a case about grave issues of universal international concern that the ATS addresses -- such as piracy and genocide,' according to MTN’s court filing. 'This case is about one thing: Turkcell trying to get paid by a nonstate actor for an Iranian cellular telephone license that it claims it lost unfairly. We respectfully submit that a U.S. district court has no business deciding this dispute.' Turkcell, which initially was awarded the Iranian mobile- phone license, sued its Johannesburg-based rival on March 28 for $4.2 billion in damages. The suit alleges MTN bribed officials, arranged meetings between Iranian and South African leaders, and promised Iran weapons and United Nations votes in exchange for a license to provide mobile-phone service in the Islamic Republic . . . 'This is far from a routine business dispute,' David Farber, a lawyer for Turkcell, said in an e-mail. 'Contemporaneous documents and recent testimony clearly demonstrate MTN’s efforts to assist Iran’s nuclear program, and its attempt to facilitate Iranian arms sales in spite of the international embargo' . . . The case is Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS (TCELL) v. MTN Group Ltd, 12-cv-479, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington)." (Bloomberg, "MTN Asks Judge To Dismiss Turkcell Lawsuit Over Iran Deal," 7/3/12)

--

"Turkey's largest mobile phone operator, Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetlera AS (TKC), Thursday said it has filed a suit against South Africa's MTN Group Ltd. in the U.S., seeking damages related to the award of a license in Iran.  Turkcell alleges the South African company encouraged Pretoria to support Iran's nuclear power development program in 2005, and it claims MTN made improper payments to an Iranian and to a South African government official between 2004 and 2005 to enable the company to secure a license to operate in Iran... The allegations come as MTN's Iranian operation is the target of a U.S. lobby group, which is seeking to persuade foreign businesses to leave Iran. United Against Nuclear Iran in January sent a letter to MTN Chief Executive Sifiso Dabengwa calling for the company to pull out of the country, alleging MTN's technology is being used by Iran's government to locate and track mobile phone users." (Nasdaq, "Turkcell Files Suit Against MTN In US Courts," 3/28/12)

--

The Guardian Council, comprising six Islamic clerics and six lay jurists, has in effect become an upper house of parliament. The council can vet all legislation passed by the Majlis and veto any laws that it judges do not comply with Islamic law or Irans constitution. Its influence was most apparent in 2004 and 2005 when it ratified legislation giving the Majlis retroactive veto power over two major foreign investment contracts, those of Turkcell (Turkey) and Tepe-Akfen-Vie (a joint Austrian-Turkish consortium). (Economist Intelligence Units Country Commerce Select, The operating environment: Political conditions, March 19, 2008)

--

Listed by U.S. Government as doing business in Iran. (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, "List of Companies Doing Business With State Sponsors Of Terror", Removed from the internet in July of 2007)

Response: 

No response at this time.