Turkcell founder sued for $10m

Jail-sentenced billionaire Mehmet Karamehmet is being sued for almost $10m (£6.6m) in the High Court over loans issued to Maltese shipping company Blue Shipping.

In the latest high-profile example of British courts being used to settle international commercial disputes, Commerzbank has named Karamehmet as the defendant in a case over unpaid debts. This adds to the woes of a businessman who was sentenced to seven years in prison by an Istanbul court earlier this year.

According to papers seen by The Independent on Sunday, Blue Shipping is alleged to have failed to pay loan instalments worth £765,000 on 7 February and £765,000 in May 2013.

Karamehmet is best known as the founder of Turkey's biggest phone company, Turkcell. He is one of the world's richest men with an estimated fortune of $2.4bn, according to Forbes.

The news comes just days after Karamehmet won a long-running legal battle against Russia's Alfa Group over control of Turkcell.

The UK Privy Council ruled last Tuesday that Karamehmet's Cukurova group must pay $1.56bn to re-acquire control of Turkcell from the Alfa Group of the Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman. Cukurova, which is Karamehmet's holding company, is registered in the British Virgin Islands – which is why the case is being dealt with by the Privy Council. This is the final court of appeal for many Commonwealth countries.

Karamehmet was sentenced to seven years in prison over loans issued under his watch while at Pamukbank, a private bank of which he was deputy chairman. He was previously sentenced to 11 years in 2010, although this was later overturned by Turkey's court of appeal. The sentence has yet to take effect.

The dispute between Commerzbank and Karamehmet is the latest international dispute to be brought to Britain.

In May, it emerged that Ukrainian billionaire Viktor Pinchuk was suing two of his compatriots in the High Court, claiming they failed to hand over an iron ore business for which he paid $143m.

Mr Pinchuk claims he agreed to buy the factory in the city of Kryvyi Rih from Gennadiy Bogolyubov and a second oligarch in 2004, but they didn't transfer it after being paid. Mr Bogolyubov said he will fight the claim.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace