Turkish main opposition CHP files criminal complaint against Demirören Holding, Ziraat Bank

A lawmaker of the Turkish main opposition CHP has filed a criminal complaint against Ziraat Bank and the board of directors of Demirören Holding over charges of committing fraud, misuse of office, and defying Turkey’s banking law.

Duvar English

Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Mersin deputy Ali Mahir Başarır has filed a criminal complaint against Turkish state-run Ziraat Bank and the board of directors of Demirören Holding on the grounds that the companies committed crimes of "qualified fraud", "abuse of office" and "opposition to the Banking Law.”

According to the criminal complaint filed by Başarır, Demirören Holding, through its board of directors, acquired a total of 800 million dollars of limited credit from Ziraat Bank - 700 million dollars for a company acquisition project and 100 million dollars in a business loan. The 800 million dollars were not repaid by the holding company, restructuring was initiated, and the company instead transferred 22 pieces of land and real estate to the state-run bank to repay the debt. The complaint alleges that the value of these parcels was dramatically inflated and that the bank valued them as residential properties, which they weren’t.

In essence, Başarır alleges, the bank helped the holding company pay off the loan with fraud. After he filed the lawsuit at Çağlayan Courthouse in Istanbul, Başarır held a press conference calling on the judiciary to draft an indictment. 

“If there really is a bit of conscience in the judiciary, they will do what is necessary, they will file a lawsuit. This is bank fraud, I say frankly,” he said.

Oğuzhan Cenan, Başarır's lawyer, has said that this should have been done by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA). However, both failed to carry out investigations.

“Since no investigation has been carried out regarding this, we have filed a criminal complaint in order to facilitate the work of the prosecutor's office and to guide it,” Cenan said.