Call to boycott Ford Otosan
Ford Otosan is the leading company in its market, producing 31% of civilian vehicles in Turkey, and holding 72% of the Turkish export market share.
The UK Boycott Turkey Campaign is a broad, grassroots campaign fighting for boycotts, divestments and sanctions against the oppressive Turkish state.
Among the companies and products to boycott, is Ford Otosan which manufactures police vehicles used by the Turkish police when clamping down on Kurdish movements or arresting activists, politicians and journalists.
These Tourneo Courier cars are manufactured in Kocaeli, Turkey. Ford Otosan is jointly owned by Ford and Koç.
The campaign underlined a few ways in which activists can act and thus contribute to the success of boycotting Ford Otosan: Pressure Ford to divest and Target Ford Motor Company, asking them to divest from Ford Otosan on the basis that Koç’s subsidiary, Otokar, is involved in military vehicle production. Ford’s partnership with Koç makes the company complicit in the war crimes carried out by the Turkish state with that equipment in Rojava (Northern Syria) and Bakur (southeastern Turkey).
Koç also owns Otokar, a company which manufactures the Cobra and Akrep military vehicles and worked on the design model of the Altay battle tank.
Boycott Turkey said that the “company is vulnerable to a boycott campaign as it generates significant export revenue, $4.9 billion in 2017, and because Ford, which co-owns the company, is a household name globally.”
Ford Otosan is the leading company in its market, producing 31% of civilian vehicles in Turkey, and holding 72% of the Turkish export market share. The profits generated for Koç by Ford Otosan contribute massively to Koç’s economic viability, and enable it to carry on producing weapons for the Turkish state.
What is Boycott Turkey
From the website of the campaign:
“We believe that the authoritarian and racist regime in Turkey is a threat to democracy, human rights and the lives of the peoples of Turkey, Kurdistan and beyond. In the fight for a better world it is vital that we all take a stand against repressive states like Turkey.”
The campaign was set up following a broad consensus from Kurdish and Turkish civil society groups calling for international solidarity and action against the regime.
Some key examples of the mandate for a global boycott campaign include;
– Calls from the KCDK-E (the European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress) to boycott products and services which support the Turkish state’s illegal war on Kurds.
– The academic boycott called by academics in Turkey facing state repression.
– Campaigns in Kurdistan to boycott Turkey
– This campaign was launched by the UK Kurdish People’s Assembly and solidarity activists in response to the various calls for boycotts. The campaign continues to be organised in close collaboration between activists and the UK’s Kurdish communities.