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Turkcell Files Suit Against MTN In US Courts

JOHANNESBURG -(Dow Jones)- Turkey's largest mobile phone operator, Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetlera AS (TKC), Thursday said it has filed a suit against South Africa's MTN Group Ltd. (MTN.JO) in the U.S., seeking damages related to the award of a license in Iran. Turkcell alleges the South African company encouraged Pretoria to support Iran's nuclear power development program in 2005, and it claims MTN made improper payments to an Iranian and to a South African government official between 2004 and 2005 to enable the company to secure a license to operate in Iran. MTN holds a 49% stake in Irancell, Iran's No. 2 mobile phone operator, with the government as its partner. Turkcell lost out to MTN in 2005 in securing the license, the second to be tendered in Iran. Around 21% of MTN's subscribers are in Iran. "Newly received information by Turkcell indicates that the signing of the license agreement with MTN instead of our Company was a consequence of MTN's actions at that time. In light of the harm caused by MTN's actions to both Turkcell and to its shareholders, Turkcell today filed a lawsuit against MTN seeking the compensation of such damages," Turkcell said in a statement. Turkcell said it filed the suit in the U.S. because its allegations are that MTN breached "rules of international law." MTN said it would comment later Thursday. South Africa's department of international relations refused to comment on the Turkcell allegations, but said that "government influence can't be bought." "We're not aware of anybody buying influence from the government," a spokesman for the government said. MTN appointed an external committee to investigate claims by the Turkish operator earlier this year. The allegations come as MTN's Iranian operation is the target of a U.S. lobby group, which is seeking to persuade foreign businesses to leave Iran. United Against Nuclear Iran in January sent a letter to MTN Chief Executive Sifiso Dabengwa calling for the company to pull out of the country, alleging MTN's technology is being used by Iran's government to locate and track mobile phone users. -By Devon Maylie, Dow Jones Newswires, devon.maylie@dowjones.com, +27117837848

Stock News for Turkcell Ilet (TKC)
DateTimeHeadline
11/10/201404:05:01Amino Technologies Wins TV Platform Contract With Turkcell
10/24/201405:02:06Turkcell's 3Q Net Profit Rises 8% on Soaring Broadband Sales
07/25/201411:54:45Cukurova and Alfa Agree on Term for Financing in Turkcell Stake
05/13/201406:38:11Turkcell Holder Cukurova Must Pay $1 Billion in Damages to TeliaSonera:...
04/25/201405:02:32Turkcell First-Quarter Net Profit Hit By Ukraine Operations
04/23/201402:40:07TeliaSonera 1st Quarter Revenue, Profit Decline
04/23/201402:25:12TeliaSonera First-Quarter Revenue, Profit Decline
02/05/201409:52:08Turkcell Shareholder Cukurova Gets Extension on Payment to Alfa...
01/02/201409:04:15Turkcell Says Faces TRY527.7 Million Tax Demand and Fine
11/15/201309:01:37HBK Investments LP 3Q 13F: Largest Eliminations
11/15/201309:01:27HBK Investments LP 3Q 13F: Largest Eliminations -2-
11/15/201309:01:27HBK Investments LP 3Q 13F: Largest Sales
11/15/201309:01:27HBK Investments LP 3Q 13F: Largest Purchases
08/16/201306:53:36Turkish Regulators Move to End Turkcell Quagmire
07/29/201311:55:22UK Court Grants Turkcell's Stakeholder Cukurova Extension to...
07/16/201309:02:12Turkcell Holder Cukurova Seeks Extension For $1.56 Billion Alfa...
07/16/201306:15:09Turkey's Regulator to Appoint Two Board Members to Turkcell
07/09/201310:13:11TeliaSonera Welcomes UK Court Decision on Turkcell
07/09/201306:09:58Turkcell Majority Stake to Cost Cukurova $1.56 Billion, UK Court...
06/24/201306:24:16TeliaSonera: Regrets Turkcell's Failed AGM

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