Turkcell challenges move to edge it out of Irancell

Sources close to MTN, however, claim that the South African operator is in advanced talks with Iranian authorities regarding MTN’s participation in Irancell in place of Turkcell.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  October 18, 2005

Turkey’s leading operator Turkcell has issued a statement saying it has taken legal action asking for an injunction to stop Iran’s communications ministry from negotiating terms and conditions to exclude it from participating in the consortium to run Iran’s second GSM operator, Irancell. Turkcell, which last year had been the first choice to back Iran’s first private GSM company has lost favour with the Iranian authorities, who are now reported to be holding negotiations with second-placed licence bidder MTN to participate in the operator in Turkcell’s place. “In our announcement dated September 5, 2005, we stated that on September 2, 2005, the board of directors decided that with regard to the Irancell project, Irancell consortium that won the first private GSM operator tender opened in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Turkcell would perform the necessary transactions to take the legal steps necessary to ensure the process to be in accordance with the tender documents and the applicable laws, to make EAC 49% shareholder to Irancell company and to continue with the Irancell project,” Turkcell says in a statement. “In this context, Turkcell, with regard to the first private GSM tender in Iran, has taken legal action asking for an injunction to stop actions claiming that those are not in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations approved by the Iranian Parliament for the first private GSM tender in Iran,” the statement continues. Sources close to MTN, however, claim that the South African operator is in advanced talks with Iranian authorities regarding MTN’s participation in Irancell in place of Turkcell.

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