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INTERVIEW-UPDATE 1-Turkcell says maintains 10 pct growth target

* Maintains 2008 growth goal of 10 pct in lira terms

* Has $3 bln available for possible investment, M&A

* India’s Datacom one of several companies it’s assessing

(Adds details, background)

By Ercan Ersoy

ISTANBUL, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Leading Turkish mobile phone operator Turkcell TCELL.IS is maintaining its target of 10 percent lira-based revenue growth in 2008, the company's chief executive Sureyya Ciliv told Reuters on Friday.

In an interview he said the company had a $3 billion cash position it could use for investments and acquisitions.

Asked about an Indian newspaper report on Friday that Turkcell TKC.N was in talks to buy a 51 percent stake in Indian company Datacom Solutions, Ciliv said Datacom was one of several companies Turkcell was looking at.

“This is one of the companies with which we are talking. It is one of the companies on which we are carrying out a general assessment,” he said on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum meeting.

“But the company is not very close geographically. That affects the attractiveness of the company,” he said.

Turkcell will also attract new customers when number portability is introduced in Turkey in November and mobile phone users are able to switch carriers, he said.

He said he expected the introduction of a 3G telephone system in Turkey to raise Turkcell’s average revenue per user.

“We are maintaining our target of 10 percent lira-based growth for this year,” he added. (Writing by Daren Butler, editing by Will Waterman)

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