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Turkcell Board Won't Vote On Board Changes - Source

ISTANBUL -(Dow Jones)- The board of Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS (TCELL.IS), Turkey's largest mobile operator, won't vote on proposed changes to the company's board, including removing the incumbent chairman, in an extraordinary general meeting Wednesday, a person close to the negotiations told Dow Jones Newswires. Turkcell shareholders Altimo, a Moscow-based unit of Russia's Alfa Group, and Swedish telecommunications firm TeliaSonera AB (TLSN.SK) had proposed removing Chairman Colin Williams and increasing the number of independent board members in an effort to wrest control from Mehmet Karamehmet's Cukurova Holding. The extraordinary meeting began at 1200 GMT, but one day before, Turkey's regulator appeared to intervene, changing the rules to say big Turkish companies should now have two independent board members or a third of the total board, a move that analysts said could favor Cukurova. Altimo and TeliaSonera have repeatedly claimed that Williams's favoritism had helped to block the firm's expansion into foreign markets and was hampering growth prospects, claims that he denied. They petitioned to replace Williams and add two more independent members to the board, diluting Karamehmet's influence. The battle for boardroom control of one of Turkey's most valuable and respected companies has been watched closely by investors as a test case for Turkish corporate governance. -By Joe Parkinson, Dow Jones Newswires, +905306130065; joe.parkinson@dowjones.com

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