Close ally of President Erdoğan given 1 billion liras in government tenders

An investigation by daily BirGün has revealed that companies belonging to Fuat Tosyalı, appointed by President Erdoğan as a Board Member to Turkey’s Wealth Fund, received over 1 billion liras in piping tenders over ten years.

Erdoğan and Fuat Tosyalı are seen in this file photo.

Duvar English

Companies belonging to businessman Fuat Tosyalı received 1.17 billion Turkish liras in public piping tenders between 2012 and 2021, daily BirGün reported on Nov. 5. Tosyalı is a close ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and was appointed by the president as a member of the Board of Directors of the Turkey Wealth Fund (TVF) in 2018. 

Tosyalı owns a holding company called Tosyalı Holding, which oversees a portfolio of companies. Together, these companies received 43 separate tenders between 2012 and 2021, primarily “pipe purchase” tenders from public institutions. 

Turkey’s Pipelines and Petroleum Transport Joint Stock Company (BOTAŞ), a subsidiary of the Energy Ministry, awarded the most tenders to Tosyalı’s companies. Tosçelik Spiral Boru Üretim Sanayi Anonim Şirketi, under the umbrella of the holding company, received 19 separate tenders from the state in the six-year period between 2016 and 2021, totaling 942 million liras - BOTAŞ granted 11 of them. Seven more were granted by the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works, and one from the General Directorate of Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO). 

Tosçelik Profil ve Saç Endüstrisi Anonim Şirketi, another of Tosyalı’s companies, received 23 separate tenders totaling 61 million liras between 2012 and 2021. The majority of these - 15 tenders - were granted by TPAO, a government-affiliated institution. 

When the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) controlled Istanbul, until 2019, Tosyalı and his companies also received large tenders from the city. In 2014, the General Directorate of the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (İSKİ) granted Tosyalı Dış Ticaret Anonim Şirketi a 126.43 million lira tenderfoot the supply of water piping. The company sold millions of pounds of steep piping to İSKİ with this tender. 

The oversight of large construction projects has also been granted to Tosyalı subsidiary companies. The management of the Filyos Industrial Zone  Project, in Turkey’s northern Black Sea region, was granted to a subsidiary of Tosyalı holding in 2019. With regards to the firm’s involvement in the project, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) MP Deniz Yavuz Yavuzyılmaz said that “Tosyalı Holding is not involved in the Filyos project as an investor, but as a partner of the AKP.”

Tosyalı’s company is one of many owned by allies of Erdoğan that have benefitted from government tenders under AKP rule. Mehmet Cengiz, a billionaire and close ally of the president’s, oversees a company, Cengiz Holding, that has received the most public tenders of any company. His company is known for overseeing multi-million dollar, large-scale infrastructure and construction projects. Further, the company belonging to the father of Erdoğan’s son-in-law was on the board of the company that provided extensive Turkish national railway construction and repairs.

Tosyalı, like Cengiz and others who have profited from these tenders, is an outspoken AKP supporter. In 2019, he attended a pre-election AKP rally in southern İskendurun, and asked for votes for the local AKP candidate.