(Washington, D.C.) — The Turkish Democracy Project (TDP) has called on Abbott, an American multinational medical devices and health care company, to examine its business interests in Turkey and sever all engagements with endemically corrupt companies and government bodies.
In Fall 2021, TDP initiated a campaign investigating international companies with links to corrupt Turkish organizations and dubious government sponsored projects. TDP research raised concerns about Abbott’s links to the Turkish logistics sector, which were highlighted in a letter sent to the American organization on May 30, 2022.
TDP’s research found that Abbott has partnered with Turkish company Ekol Logistics since 2011, when the American multinational announced a $6.4 million investment. Since then, Ekol Logistics has provided Abbott with a range of warehouse and management services.
Turkish has undergone a steady erosion of its democracy under President Erdogan and his ruling AKP party, with no branch of government or sector of the economy escaping the president’s tightening grip. A group of oligarchs, dubbed the gang of five by the media, have been awarded billion-dollars worth of non-competitive tenders in violation of the country’s public procurement law and at the expense of Turkey’s economic and environmental welfare. These rigged tenders have guaranteed the enrichment of Erdogan’s close business allies who, in turn, have provided the president with the necessary resources to expand his control over Turkish society.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan recently revealed his ‘Transport and Logistics Master Plan’ for 2053, with hopes of turning Turkey into a logistics superpower. However, the logistics sector is deemed one of the most corrupt sectors in Turkey.
Absent a response from Abbott, Ambassador Mark Wallace, CEO of the Turkish Democracy Project, said:
“We urge Abbott to immediately review its ties with Turkey’s logistics sector, which is rife with fraudulent practices and rigged tenders that entrench Erdogan in power, enable repression and silent dissent. Abbot would be well advised to consider the reputational risks it is incurring by continuing to support these practices.”