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20 Turkish companies to lodge claims against Turkmenistan

Thursday 14 July 2011

ANKARA (AP) – A group of Turkish companies are preparing to seek legal action against Turkmenistan in a bid to recover what they say is more than $1 billion in unpaid bills for construction work in the Central Asian country, the group’s spokesman said Wednesday.

The move comes despite Turkey’s efforts to try and settle the dispute with Turkmenistan through diplomatic channels. Turkmenistan is an important trade partner and a country with which Turkey has close cultural ties.

In May, President Abdullah Gul traveled to the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, to try and recover the debt and head off complaints by Turkish companies that have played a leading role in transforming the sleepy post-Soviet backwater into a city of soaring marble-clad government offices and apartment blocks.

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