The Privatization Administration of Turkey has conducted separate auctions to corporatize two sugar factories, amid controversy over the move.
Yozgat and Çorum, the two factories of the Turkish Sugar Refineries Corporation (Türkşeker), were up for auction.
Safi Holding offered the highest bid — 528 million Turkish Liras ($130.3 million) — for the Çorum Sugar Factory, whose tender started from 441 million liras ($108.83 million), as reported by state-run Anadolu Agency on April 9.
The auction for the Yozgat Sugar Factory started from 244 million liras ($60.2 million) and it received bids up to 275 million liras ($67.9 million) from Doğuş Food Beverage.
Fourteen factories — Afyon, Erzurum, Alpullu, Ilgın, Bor, Kastamonu, Burdur, Kırşehir, Çorum, Muş, Elbistan, Turhal, Erzincan and Yozgat — are on the list to be auctioned.
Last week, auctions for the Bor and Kırşehir sugar factories were held and they were sold for 336 million liras ($82.92 million) and 330 million liras ($81.44 million), respectively.
Doğuş won the auction for the Bor factory, while the winner for Kırşehir was Tutgu.
But the government’s decision to privatize a total of 14 state-run sugar factories has caused much controversy.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu recently claimed that the privatization move aims to promote starch-based sugar production and “affects nearly a million Turkish citizens.”