Investor Gencay Tunç (Garabed Varujan Husigyan) established a large pig farm and packing plant in Bolu in order to produce pork products. However, Tunç was faced with unimaginable bureaucratic obstacles and he couldn't have managed to open his completed facility.
With the law
amendment made in 2006 as part of Law of Harmonization Code of EU,
pork was classified as “red meat”. After the meat products made
of animals like boar, horse, bird and rabbit obtained this status, it
was expected that the way for enterprises
in this field will be smoothed. Considering this law amendment as a
great opportunity, investor Gencay Tunç (Garabed Varujan Husigyan)
established a large pig farm and packing plant in Bolu in order to
produce pork products. Blazing a trail in this field in Turkey, Tunç
was faced with unimaginable bureaucratic obstacles and he couldn't
have managed to open his completed facility.
The construction of the facility was completed and got 125,000 dollars financial support by coming first in “Agricultural Projects” competition of World Bank. Saying that the facility was intended to function for foreign markets and was able to create jobs in Bolu, Tunç couldn't have received the fund from World Bank and he had lost his personal savings. He took legal action because of the injustice he has been faced with, but there was no progress, though he had struggled for 4 years. In 2009, he moved to the US for his son's education, but he returned to Turkey on March in order to continue his struggle from where he had left. Gencay Tunç spoke to Agos and told what happened after he bought a 7-square-meters land for establishing his facility.
His life turned upside down
In 2005, Tunç started to work for establishing the first pork packing plant in Turkey with 350,000 dollars investment, but he have had run of bad luck. Getting support from many people at the beginning of the project, Tunç says that he had many troubles in the process of approval. Telling that he had a strange car accident and his house got raked during this process, Tunç said that he had decided to leave Turkey. In order to draw attention to his hopeless situation, he set his car on fire and staged a hunger strike. He told about what he went through:
“On October 2006, with the law amendment made in 2006 as part of Law of Harmonization Code of EU, pork was classified as red meat. Since I have been engaged in hunting for many years, I thought that this might be an opportunity. Previously, when you shoot a pig, you would leave it on the scene. This was also a waste of national wealth. I thought about making use of this national wealth and decided to start a project in order to process and export pork. Since Bolu is the city that has the greatest number of pigs in Turkey, I conducted researches in order to start my project there. Teoman Bozoğlu from Bolu Provincial Directorate of Agriculture gave a favorable opinion about my project and recommended me to apply to World Bank. Coming first in the project competition, we earned a fund, but we couldn't have received it, since it would have been deposited when the facility starts to function. However, we couldn't have managed to get necessary permissions. Until 2007, we waited for the planning permit and the process was completed. The troubles began after this. Mehmet Altun from Bolu Provincial Directorate of Agriculture said that Ankara hasn't given permission, though the process was completed as required. Though everything was done, the construction was completed and the machines were bought, we found out that Provincial Directorate of Agriculture hasn't given permission.
I was thinking that everything was fine with the director of agriculture, but I found out that he has been saying different things to my partners. When things got out of control, my partners left me in the lurch. Of course I had received a lot of threats during this process. I had a car accident when I was on my way for getting approval. My house in Bolu was raked. I struggled for this project for 4 years and I was the only one who is damaged. In 2009, I decided to move to the US, because I had no financial capacity left, I was exhausted and on the danger list. I founded a new life and my son went to school there. He is still in the US, he will continue his life there. However, I returned for my legal struggle. I think that Director of Agriculture Mehmet Altun is the one who prevented my project personally.
He was back and detained
Returning to Turkey on March, Tunç was detained the moment he arrived at Istanbul. Saying that he found out that he was detained because of the complaint of Director of Agriculture Mehmet Altun, Tunç talked about those moments and his determination: “I was detained at the airport. According to police officers, I have a criminal record in national judiciary informatics system (UYAP). After being in detention for 2 days, I gave a statement and stood trial. I didn't know the reason of my detention, until I was brought to the court. When the judge said that I threatened Director of Agriculture with death, I realized what is happening. I told what I had been through and showed the documents on my phone to the judge and then they released me.
Even though I am the real victim here, everyone is acting like they are the victim. They should pay the price for what they did to me. I feel honor bound to do this. I will try all the legal ways.”