(Washington, D.C.) — The Turkish Democracy Project (TDP) has called on Juniper Networks, an American multinational company developing network products, to urgently review its business ties with the rampantly corrupt Turkish telecom sector.
In Fall 2021, TDP initiated a campaign investigating international companies with links to corrupt Turkish construction firms and government sponsored projects. TDP’s research has found that Juniper Networks partners with Turk Telekom, Turkey’s largest telecom operator, to transfer its Radio Intelligent Controller technology and other products to support Turkey’s next generation 5G deployment.
Turk Telekom is closely tied to President Erdogan’s corrupt regime. The Turkey Wealth Fund, run by the Turkish government, signed a deal in 2022 with LYY Telekomunikasyon to purchase 55% of shares in Turk Telekom, making Erdogan’s government the majority shareholder of what until 2005 had been a public company.
Since Erdogan’s rise to power over 18 years ago, almost no branch of government or sector of the economy has remained independent from executive meddling and corruption. A handful of oligarchs with close ties to Erdogan have been awarded non-competitive tenders worth billions of dollars in return for their unwavering political and financial backing. These corrupt practices have enabled Erdogan to expand his control over all aspects of Turkish society, at the expense of economic prosperity, the environment, and Turkish human rights.
Having identified extensive legal and ethical risks in Juniper Networks’ Turkish business interests, TDP sent a letter on May 30, 2022 to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Rami Rahim.
Commenting on Juniper Networks’ lack of response, Ambassador Mark Wallace, CEO of the Turkish Democracy Project, said:
“We urge Juniper Networks to immediately review its involvement in Turkey’s increasingly corrupt and totalitarian regime. Doing business in Turkey means doing business with Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has continuously defrauded the Turkish people of their rights by favoring close cronies and the personal enrichment of the President over the country’s economic and environmental welfare.”