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Turkish Businessman Takes Turkey to International Tribunal Over Seized Assets

Turkey’s seizure of assets and companies belong to opponents of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long gone unchallenged. But a businessman who lives in London took a step and will challenge the Turkish government’s takeover of his media companies at an international tribunal.

Akin Ipek, once wealthy businessman who commanded a large network of media companies, among others, is preparing to launch a long legal battle to recover his assets on the grounds that the government confiscation violates investment treaties that involve the U.K. and the E.U.

His claim worths more than $5 billion. He took his case to the Washington-based the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

The claim is launched by Ipek Investment Ltd (IIL), a British company owned by the same businessman. What prompted Ipek to take such an action was the lack of possibility to reach justice in Turkey.

The businessman’s brother Tekin Ipek has been in jail for two years.

“IIL seeks compensations for illegal acts attributable to Turkey which expropriated, treated in a discriminatory fashion and otherwise failed to protect IIL’s investments in Turkey,” the Guardian reported.

A spokesman for the company told the British daily that “IIL’s shareholding comprised a multibillion dollar business, which has been deliberately targeted and seized by the Erdogan’s regime. The [Turkish] government has shown total disregard for property rights, human rights and all decency.”

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