Turkish riot dispersal industry takes a hit (really)

The business section English-language Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reports “Water cannon producer’s stock dips after Turkey’s ruling AKP loses majority.”

The largest supplier of police water cannons in Turkey has seen a steep fall in its stock prices, hours after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary majority.

Shares in Katmerciler Ekipman, the company that manufactures the riot control vehicles popularly known as TOMAs, decreased 10 percent early June 8.

The fall was worse than the average decline in Borsa Istanbul stock prices, which saw a fall as low as 8.15 percent in its opening following the June 7 general elections.

 
The reason? Turns out it will be probably harder to win government contracts to hose down protesters when they voted for the government’s likely coalition partners. It’s also hard when your company depended on a suspiciously close relationship with the ruling party very specifically:

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had said the government “would buy 10 new TOMAs for each one destroyed” by ongoing street protests in the country.

The company, which is owned by a former AKP deputy, İsmail Katmerci, emerged as one of the biggest winners from the nationwide Gezi Park demonstrations in 2013.

 
The new big winner is likely to be less partisan alternatives for acquiring riot dispersal tools — like UK-based manufacturers for example. The AK Party may have lost its majority in Turkey and may be on the verge of joining a coalition, but the Conservatives in Britain just got out of a coalition and into a majority government. That means five more years of extremely enthusiastic government approvals of arms sales to governments engaged in suppressing popular demonstrations by their own people. With rigorous oversight, of course. Wink.

And regardless of who comes to power in Turkey’s next government, there will still be a purchases to be made: Turkish passion for authoritarian over-reactions to mild criticism is sadly likely to continue for a while longer.

Riot police in action during Gezi park protests in Istanbul, June 16, 2013. (Credit: Mstyslav Chernov via Wikimedia)

Riot police in action during Gezi park protests in Istanbul, June 16, 2013. (Credit: Mstyslav Chernov via Wikimedia)

Bill Humphrey

About Bill Humphrey

Bill Humphrey is the primary host of WVUD's Arsenal For Democracy talk radio show and is a Senior Editor for The Globalist. Follow him @BillHumphreyMA on twitter.
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