In the background statement on its ruling, the Council says that Turkcell is currently the largest mobile operator in Turkey, with 51% of shares in it owned by a Turkish company named Turkcell Holding.
However, at the relevant time, Cukurova owned 52.91%, with the remaining 47.09% held by Sonera Holding.
In March 2005 the two parties entered into a letter agreement regarding the purchase by Sonera of Cukurova’s entire stake in the company.
However, two months later Cukurova publicly announced it would not be selling the shares to Sonera.
Sonera commenced legal action and in September 2011 was awarded $932 million in damages by an arbitration Tribunal.
The Privy Council, which is involved in the case as Cukurova is registered in the British Virgin Islands, ruled that Cukurova is bound by the terms of the letter agreement, including the terms of the arbitration clause.
Cukurova has also been involved in a dispute with Russia’s Alfa Group over the control of Turkcell, which besides being a mobile operator has interests in Turkey’s TV industry.