TURKEY: Telephones privatisation bill passed

24 June 1994

Parliament has passed a bill for the privatisation of the telecommunications division of the posts, telephones and telegraph administration (PTT). The sell-off is a key component of ambitious privatisation plans, and is expected to raise up to $2,000 million.

The legislation provides for the Higher Planning Board, the government's supreme economic policy-making body, to draw up guidelines ensuring that PTT employees and the general public can participate in the deal. It also authorises the Communications & Transport Ministry to issue operational licences to private companies for telecommunications operations.

However, the PTT deal is unlikely to be ready until 1995. It has already been considerably delayed by blocking action in the constitutional court by opposition centred in the ranks of the junior partner in the coalition, the Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP).

Action is similarly being attempted against fundamental privatisation moves recently introduced including the creation of a special privatisation agency (MEED 17:6:94). The constitutional court has also temporarily suspended a general enabling act for reforms by decree (see above).

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