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Turkcell to Hold Annual Meeting June 29 Amid Owners’ Dispute

Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS, Turkey’s biggest mobile-phone operator, will hold an annual shareholders’ meeting on June 29 after a call by the company’s statutory auditors as the shareholders say disputes still remain.

Earnings and dividend proposals for both 2010 and 2011 will be discussed at the meeting, Turkcell said in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange today. “There is no decision by the board of directors in line with the legal quorum for the items of the agenda, prepared by the statutory auditors, on changes to the board and dividend payment proposals,” according to the statement.

Investors TeliaSonera AB and Moscow-based Altimo blocked a decision on dividend payments and approval of 2010 financials in a series of shareholders’ meetings last year, after failing to oust Chairman Colin Williams from the board. They claimed he hampered Turkcell’s growth by favoring Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, chairman of the company’s founding shareholder Cukurova Holding AS.

The annual meeting set for June 29 should not be expected “to produce results as it was summoned by the auditors,” not by shareholders, Murat Vargi, a former board member who holds a 1.2 percent stake in Turkcell, said in an e-mailed statement today.

“The call doesn’t reflect consensus by the board of directors,” Vargi said. He urged the market regulator “to intervene by appointing the required number of independent board members” to end the dispute which started to “negatively affect” Turkcell and its units.

Cukurova, TeliaSonera and Altimo are “still in dispute” over the size of Turkcell’s board of directors, said Vargi, who is also a founder of the company with Karamehmet.

TeliaSonera

TeliaSonera, the biggest shareholder with a 38 percent-stake, will seek the completion of all items proposed by the auditors at the annual meeting, Cecilia Edstrom, TeliaSonera spokeswoman, said in a phone interview from Stockholm.

Turkcell should add more members, including independents, to its seven-strong board of directors as demanded by Turkey’s market regulator and TeliaSonera seeks to increase the board’s size at the meeting, Edstrom said.

TeliaSonera also seeks to have Turkcell’s financials and dividend plan for last year and 2010 concluded at the meeting, she said.

Turkcell rose 1.5 percent to 8.26 liras at the 12:30 p.m. midday break in Istanbul. The main share index gained 0.6 percent.

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