28 couples sue over Turkish apartment millions
TWENTY-EIGHT Irish couples who invested millions in a Turkish apartment development have been granted permission to serve claims for their money back on the developers in Turkey.
An application by Nigel and Maria Whyte, of Ballinerla, Kilmacow, Co Kilkenny, to serve summonses outside the EU was yesterday granted by Mr Justice Kevin Feeney in the High Court.
Mr Robert Beatty, counsel for the Whytes and 27 other Irish couples, said their solicitors Mason Hayes Curran had already obtained an injunction in the Dutch courts freezing €4,329,000 they had paid into investment funds in Holland.
Mr Beatty said it was his clients' intention to issue proceedings seeking rescission of contracts to purchase apartments at the Orient Palace resort at Bodrum in Turkey and have their money -- in some cases more than €100,000 -- refunded.
Irish, British and other nationalities splashed out more than €30m in 2005 for apartments in Bodrum which were supposed to have been built and completed by the end of 2006. Mr Beatty told the court they had also been promised a 10pc rental return on their money on completion of the apartments, but, as yet, none had been completed.
Yesterday's proceedings were launched against the Turkish company, Euro Holding A.S., which, Mr Beatty said, claimed to own the property where 188 apartments were to be developed in a new five-star resort of 1,000 units. He said it now transpired they did not own the property.
Robin Donagh, a solicitor with Mason Hayes Curran, stated in an affidavit that the Irish investors had been sold two-bed apartments with a rental guarantee of 10pc per annum.
He said Euro Holding had either acted as principal or in partnership with Unifin Groep BV, a Dutch registered company with offices in Arnhem.
Mr Donagh said these two companies engaged with Turkey Real Estate Direct Ltd, Thomas Collins (Auctioneers) Ltd trading as Remax Associates; Celturk Ltd, trading as Astute Property International and Med Dreams Property, in extensively advertising and marketing the development to Irish consumers.
Later it was confirmed the land belonged to an Atif Harmanda and not Euro Holding.