(Washington, D.C.) — The Turkish Democracy Project (TDP) has called on Carrier Global, an American home appliance organization, to clarify its business interests in Turkey and cease its associations with Turkish companies linked to President Erdogan’s corrupt administration.
Carrier Global’s Turkish operations include the provision of products and operating services in the fields of heating, cooling and air conditioning, which it delivers with its regional partner Alarko Carrier. In turn, Alarko Carrier is closely associated with Cengiz Holding, a conglomerate with deep ties to the Erdogan regime.
Cengiz Holding’s chairman, Mehmet Cengiz, belongs to a handful of President Erdogan’s closest associates who have been dubbed the “gang of five”. The companies owned by this select group of businessmen are routinely awarded billions of dollars in government contracts, have their debts forgiven and avoid taxes. In return, the gang of five provide financial support to the Turkish President and his Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Cengiz Holding is one of the most crucial capital resources of Erdogan’s autocratic regime, and its media group supplies a major propaganda outlet for the AKP.
On January 18, 2022, TDP sent a letter to Carrier Global’s chairman and Chief Executive Officer, David Gitlin, outlining the grave moral, environmental and political risks of the company’s partnership with Alarko Carrier and, by association, Cengiz Holding. Cengiz Holding is ranked third among the world’s top tender winning firms – and has enjoyed tax debt forgiveness to the value of more than 600 million Turkish liras. Chairman Mehmet Cengiz was also revealed to have used an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands to avoid taxes, according to documents exposed in the Panama Papers leak.
Alarko Holding, Alarko Carrier’s parent company, and Cengiz Holding are also facing legal proceedings for decades of allegedly illegal and anti-environmentalist operations at the Cenal Integrated Power Plant in Karabiga, in the Canakkale region.
Carrier Global has yet to respond to TDP’s concerns and is being urged to immediately clarify its status, policy and intentions with respect to its involvement with the corrupt organizations mentioned above.
Commenting on Carrier Global’s lack of response, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, CEO of the Turkish Democracy Project said:
“We urge Carrier Global commit to the principles of “honesty, accountability and ethics” it advertises on its website. Carrier Global’s business in Turkey directly and indirectly funds corrupt networks of patronage. Until Erdogan’s government fundamentally alters its behavior, no prudent and responsible company should be doing business with companies that support Erdogan’s kleptocracy.”