October 16, 2018 / 11:43 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Erdogan says Turkish opposition resistance to Isbank stake transfer futile

(Adds opposition party comment, Isbank shares, background)

ANKARA, Oct 16 (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday it was futile for Turkey’s main opposition party to resist a parliamentary bid to transfer to the treasury its stake in Isbank, Turkey’s largest listed lender.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) appoints four members to Isbank’s board and holds a 28 percent stake in the bank which was bequeathed to the party by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic.

Erdogan has called for the shares to be transferred to Turkey’s treasury, which CHP says it opposes.

“The one thing the CHP needs to do is to say, ‘We are no longer going to appoint the four members on the board... and we will not say anything to the transfer of the shares to the treasury,’” Erdogan told reporters in parliament on Tuesday.

“The CHP’s resistance will not yield results,” he said.

Isbank’s shares were up 2.86 percent by 1122 GMT.

Erdogan said on Saturday that his AK Party would push through the assembly the law that would allow the transfer of the shares to the treasury.

CHP spokesman Fatih Oztrak said on Monday that attempting to transfer the shares to the treasury amounted to looting, adding that the party would take all judicial and political steps.

“People decide freely with an agreement to whom they are going to leave their belongings after their death,” Oztrak said.

“The government’s task is to protect and adopt this agreement. It is not to change this agreement with a law.” (Reporting by Gulsen Solaker and Ece Toksabay; Writing by Daren Butler and Ali Kucukgocmen Editing by Dominic Evans)

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