Cem Uzan

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Cem Uzan (born 1960 in Adapazarı, Turkey) is a Turkish businessman and politician of involved in the media and banking industries, while also chairing the right-populist Young Party. His family's media empire (Uzan Group) at one time included both television stations and print media. He hails from one of Turkey's most influential families. Supporters claim Uzan's political rivalry resulted in the groups companies being seized by the government under Prime Minister Erdogan,[1] eventually resulting in Uzan's flight to France to escape political persecution. However, it followed closely on the heels of his conviction in the United States for fraud and came as the case was being put together in Turkey for racketeering and fraud leading many to believe he was escaping a likely conviction and prison term in Turkey.[2] He was granted political asylum in Paris after the French government granted his request [1]


Uzan has often been criticized for using his professional life to bolster his political life, and even benefiting from criminal charges leveled against him.[2] In 2003, U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff commented, "I think the proof is very strong that the Uzans are business imperialists of the worst kind, in that they will go to any lengths, including fraud and racketeering, to preserve their business empire..." Cem Uzan responded by asserting that the judge "is biased against Turkey, against the Turkish people."

He once described a Motorola lawsuit against his family's holdings as "Lies! A bunch of outright lies!"[3]

Legal Problems[edit]

In 2009, Motorola and Nokia won a $4.8 billion judgement against the Uzan family.[3] The Uzans failed to show up in court and the judge ordered an arrest warrant for them should they enter the United States.[4]

Also in 2009, he fled to France claiming political asylum. The request was granted by the French government. He was later indicted of racketeering in Turkey.[5]

After his flight to France, Uzan was sentenced in absentia in Turkey to twenty-three years in prison on 15 April 2010,[6]