Turkmenistan: Turkish company stops construction of Ashgabat-Turkmenbashi road

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ASHGABAT (TCA) — The Turkish construction company Polimex has stopped the construction of the toll motor road from the Turkmen capital Ashgabat to the Caspian port city of Turkmenbashi it was building pursuant to the contract concluded with the Turkmen government, the independent foreign-based news website Chronicles of Turkmenistan reported on February 27.

Correspondents of Chronicles of Turkmenistan managed to find out that the Turkmen authorities proposed the CEO of the Turkish company Erol Tabanсa to build the road using the company’s own funds and then reimburse the expenses from the revenues the motorway was expected to generate in the future.

However, Polimex and many other subcontractors have failed to receive payments from the Turkmen authorities for the construction objects they have already commissioned – in particular, for the new airport in Ashgabat and some facilities built in the run-up to the Asian Games.

Due to financial difficulties Erol Tabanсa decided to halt cooperation with the Turkmen side and leave the country.

In late December the personal plane of the CEO of the Turkish company was detained at Ashgabat airport. The Turkmen officials tried to prevent Tabanca from boarding the plane and accused him of failure to fulfill contractual obligations and fleeing the country. A fight broke out between Tabanca’s bodyguards and representatives of the Turkmen side. Only the interference of Ashgabat Mayor Shamukhammet Durdyliev and Tabanca’s promise to return to Turkmenistan in the nearest future to address all issues helped to resolve the conflict and the head of Polimex left Turkmenistan.

Tabanca did not come back and authorized his deputy Abdullah Gözener to resolve the situation with the authorities of Turkmenistan. Gözener failed to handle the task and exited the country in January, leaving Erol Tabanca’s brother, Guwen Tabanca, to deal with his brother’s problems. Guwen left Turkmenistan in February, the Chronicles of Turkmenistan reported.

The launch of the toll motorway construction was announced by Turkmen media in October 2017.

The works kicked off on the section Ashgabat-Ovadan-depe, near the village of Garry-kyariz, located not far from Gekdepe and near the village of Goch. Recently the works have been carried out in the most challenging, as viewed by experts, section of the road which goes west from Ovadan-depe with about 60 kilometers of the motorway to be built in the desert.

Now all the works have been suspended and the workers left the construction site.

Sergey Kwan

TCA