At a Ramadan dinner over the weekend, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the ride-hailing Uber’s corporate business is “over” in Turkey, and the country’s authorities will take necessary action against the company.
“There is no such thing anymore. We have our own cab system,” Erdogan said. “They say Europe has it, who cares? We will decide on this ourselves. Our interior ministry gave the orders. Traffic police will tackle this situation and do what is necessary.”
The news follows the protests led by Turkish yellow-cab drivers that hvae continued since Uber landed in the country in 2014. After Erdogan declared he’s seeking to oust the app service from the country, nearly 100 local cab drivers gathered outside Erdogan’s private residence to show their support, according to Bloomberg.
Uber landed in Istanbul’s $1.5 billion taxi market in four years ago, going head to head with 18,000 local cab drivers who lost market shares and struggled to maintain their cars after being forced to lower their fares to compete with the app service.
#Turkey bans #Uber as an election campaign by incumbent. Price of an Istanbul Taxi licence plate immediately goes up another $25K to $450K. President says the ban was to squash rivals to Turkish small business. So, $500K is needed to start a single taxi small business in Turkey?
— Ahmet C. Celebiler (@ahmetcelebiler) June 1, 2018
Even across the world, legal battles and dislike from local taxi services is not a new territory for the San Francisco-based service. Six countries, Austrailia’s Northern Territory, and select cities in the United States have banned Uber. In 2017, London revoked Uber’s license to operate and banned the service because it was not “fit and proper” to run throughout the city.
Uber is currently running like normal in Istanbul, but a court hearing against the ride-hailing app will be held on Monday.