Two Turkish firms in Pakistan’s second-largest city on Wednesday demanded the return of their vehicles from police along with an official apology.
The demand came after riot police in Lahore early Monday raided six garage facilities used by the Albayrak and Ozpak Group companies, which provide cleaning services. The police forced company employees and administrators out to the streets, assaulted some employees, and did not allow the Turkish staff to take any of their belongings.
A meeting was held in the northeastern city to discuss the dispute between the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) and Turkish companies, according to Turkish company officials speaking to Anadolu Agency.
The meeting was attended by LWMC Chairman Malik Ali Amjad Noon, Ozpak CEO Nizamettin Kocamese, Albayrak Project Coordinator Cagri Ozel, and other company representatives.
“We request an official apology from LWMC. We also demand the camera footage of the garages of that night and the immediate return of our usurped cars and garages despite the injunction decision on Turkish companies,” Ozel said.
“You illegally usurped our vehicles before our contract ends,” Ozel said.
“During our meeting with the governor of Punjab, he asked us to continue our work until Dec. 31,” Kocamese said.
Kocamese said that senior LWMC officials who started their duties a few months ago, including Noon and Senior Manager Imran Ali Sultan, were misinformed about the contract and that they would be “ashamed” at the end of the process.
Noon said that they apologized, adding that their problems can be solved by talking.
Underscoring that he will evaluate the companies’ demands and arrange a new meeting on Thursday, Noon said they were sorry to “break hearts.”
The Turkish company officials said they will also meet with Punjab Prime Minister Usman Buzdar and Punjab Governor Chaudri Mohammad Sarwar.
On Tuesday, employees of the two Turkish companies organized a protest of the police raid.
The employees gathered in front of the LWMC office in Lahore, protesting the police raid and the LWMC’s attitude towards the companies.
During the protest, the employees also chanted “long live Pakistan-Turkey brotherhood.”
Turkish company officials said they have invested approximately $150 million in the businesses since 2012.
Pakistani authorities have yet to make an official statement about the raid by security forces, who are still in the garages.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar
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