CHP leader accuses gov’t of ‘victimizing thousands to benefit contractors’

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Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaorğlu on Jan. 21 criticized the government over the benefits they provided to the construction industry, saying thousands of people have “suffered so that three contractors in Istanbul do not go bankrupt.”

“They paid a lot of money so that three contractors in Istanbul do not go bankrupt. There are thousands of people, victims, who turned an honest penny and whose rights are not being granted,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The CHP chief was speaking in parliament, where he received a group of people saying they have been victimized because of Kombassan Holding.

Kombassan Holding was a multi-partner company, based in the Central Anatolian Konya province, in the 1980s. The holding is among the corporations that offer “profit-share partnership” for those who deem interest rate as a sin by Islamic laws. Kombassan is known to have collected money from nearly 70,000 people, especially from Turks living in foreign countries.

With an omnibus bill that passed parliament in November 2019, the “profit-share partners” of holdings such as Kombassan are now deemed as shareholders of the companies, leading to the dismissal of their lawsuits on debt collecting.

The plaintiffs who filed actions of debt now say they have been victimized.

Meeting with the complainants, Kılıçdaroğlu accused the government of “saving” the companies. He added that the CHP has applied to the top court for the bill’s repeal.

“If you are going to save someone, save these people,” he said, referring to the victims.

“We will wait for the Constitutional Court’s decision. A new course of action should be outlined with regards to the ruling,” he added.

The CHP leader also said he expects the top court to repeal the bill.

“We have been following this problem for years. There are a lot of people, working in countries like Germany and France, whose savings have been bereaved due to many reasons, by using religion,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“There is nothing worse than taking advantage of people’s spiritual worlds and then collecting money to use it on worldly goods,” he added.

Kılıçdaroğlu also said that it is normal for people to enter a “profit-share partnership,” but what needs to be protected is one’s endeavor.

In the meantime, the victims said they have filed and won the lawsuits, yet they are being “blocked with this bill.”
“Thousands of people have been victimized, 13,000 have lost their lives. We just want what’s ours,” they said.

Hurriyet Daily News

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