Ousted Turkish trade minister's company 'previously received state aid'

Ousted following reports of overcharging the state in a sale from her own company, former Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan's Nanoksia Biotechnology Corp. also received 1.4 million liras in state aid, the daily Sözcü reported.

Duvar English

Former Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan's company Nanoksia Biotechnology Corp. received 1.4 million liras' state aid for investments, the daily Sözcü reported on April 25, days after the minister was ousted for selling disinfectant supplies to the state. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan replaced Pekcan on April 21, immediately after reports surfaced that the minister's company having overcharged Ankara for the sale.

Although the Trade Ministry released an official statement justifying the trade, reports soon revealed that Pekcan's company had overcharged the state by 75 percent for a total of 500,000 Turkish Liras. 

A recent statement by the Industry and Technology Ministry revealed yet another venue through which Pekcan's Nanoksia Corp. obtained state funds while boasting about state aid given to small and medium businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The ministry reportedly gave out six million liras in aid to small and medium businesses that produce personal protective equipment, and almost a quarter of the funds were given to Nanoksia. 

"Nanoksia Biotechnology Corp. was found eligible for the aid project, and was allocated 1,443,998 Turkish Liras," the Industry and Technology Ministry said. 

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Nadir Ataman said that the minister was the best example of "how much easier it is to get rich" for members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).