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    Turkcell thrown out of Iranian telecoms deal

    Hürriyet Haber
    12 Eylül 2005 - 11:56Son Güncelleme : 12 Eylül 2005 - 11:56

    Turkish telecom Turkcell has lost all chances of securing the €300 million deal with Irancell to build Iran's second mobile network, said an Iranian official on Sunday. Turkcell lost priority on the deal after failing to make the deposit necessary to secure the deal, and Irancell Consortium will now give the priority to South Africa's Mobile Telephone Network (MTN).

    "MTN will be absolutely given the priority but we can also talk with other interested parties for the credit and financial aspects of the deal. Turkcell has missed all its opportunities," a Defense inistry official said.

    The chairman of the Board of Directors of Irancell and head of the Electronic Industries Department of the Defence Ministry Ebrahim Mahmoudzadeh, told a press conference after a stormy board meeting with the Turkish partners that Irancell can sign the deal with other alternative firms, including MTN, in a week in quest for better terms.

    Mahmoudzadeh said the Iranian partners decided to turn to other foreign partners due to Turkcell's failure to fulfill obligations during the deadlines and also because of the company's internal and external problems, which dragged the Ankara government into the issue.

    "Turkcell has failed to live up to its commitments," said Ebrahim Mahmoudzadeh, also head of the electronic industries department in the Iranian Defense Ministry -- another partner in the project.

    However, a spokesman for Turkcell in Iran, Bahram Hasanzadeh, called on the company's Iranian partners to "not act hastily." The deal had been signed only one week ago, after months of wrangling.

    "Turkcell has fulfilled all its obligations according to the Iranian laws within the framework of agreement during the allocated time and has submitted the papers to the Iranian Communications Ministry," he told AFP.

    The deal left the Turkish-Iranian relations strained.

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