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Transportation Businesses Software

Uber Facing Ban In Turkey After Erdogan Backs Taxis (sbs.com.au) 107

An anonymous reader quotes a report from SBS: Uber faces being banned in Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the ride-hailing app was "finished" on Saturday following an intense lobbying campaign from Istanbul taxi drivers. Erdogan's comments, in a late-night speech Friday in Istanbul, came after the government agreed new rules that are expected to severely complicate Uber's operations in Turkey. Drivers of Istanbul's yellow taxis have over the last months waged an intense campaign to have Uber banned, saying the company is eating into their business without having a proper legal basis for work. "This thing emerged called Uber or Muber or whatever," said Erdogan. "But this issue is now finished. It's over now. Our Prime Minister (Minali Yildirim) made the announcement. We have our system of taxis," he said.

"Yildirim's government last month issue a directive sharply hiking fines and threatened to blacklist companies whose vehicles illegally work as taxis," reports SBS.
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Uber Facing Ban In Turkey After Erdogan Backs Taxis

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  • Uber is a taxi service. They control who they hire, they dictate the rates being charged, they tell their drivers they can't carry firearms in their vehicles, and so on and so forth.

    If it walks like a duck. . .

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Uber is a taxi service.

      No, Uber is a web company whose business model involves screaming loudly they're not a taxi service, and not subject to the rules and regulations of a taxi service.

      Me, I said fuck uber.

      Where I live, cabs drivers have extensive background checks, have to have vehicle inspections and commercial insurance, and by law have a camera at the driver's rear-view mirrow ... the cab drivers initially refused them when a cab driver did something to a passenger, but when one of their own was robb

      • The one time I was in an Uber, the driver was downright scary and incompetent. With a real cab, I have a plate number I can file a complaint against.

        You have to realize that people's experience will vary a lot by locale.

        In the city where I currently live, Uber does not operate, but there exists a local Uber clone (seriously, the app is almost identical...). Unlike Uber however, they have found a way to operate legally from the beginning. Looking through the laws on the books, they realized they could register as a car-hire (limo-driver-hire) service without being a taxi...but with the app, essentially operate like a taxi. The taxi drivers are furious of

      • I don't wish to be driven anywhere by someone too stupid to realize they're not being paid for their time and depreciation, and instead are funding the profits of a large corporation out of pocket

        And I don't wish to be driven anywhere in a cab that requires a limited-quantity medallion [washingtonpost.com] which is owned by an investor and leased out to the driver. Which means the driver's labor is funding the profits of some millionaire investor.

        By all means, force everyone to get a license, but make the terms of the license o

        • I know I've talked to some cab drivers in major centers and there was a valid route for them to work towards owning their own medallion. Don't discount all cabs and screw over hard working people who may actually get somewhere.
          • I think it's screwing over their work to require them to work towards/purchase/lease a medallion, especially when they cost $500K-1M.

            What's the big deal with saying that we require regulation, licensing requirements, insurance, vehicle inspections, background check and all that, and that every person that meets those (maybe stringent) requirements shall be entitled to operate a taxi?

            We do the same for Doctors, they have to pass med school, do a residency, pass exams, have insurance and all the other (strict

            • You're comparing the economies of a profession that almost everyone can do to a profession that requires an enormous amount of money and dedication to get into. If most people never make it to be a rectal surgeon, you don't have to limit the number of rectal surgeons. Furthermore, there is no physical limitation to the space that medical institutions have for rectal surgeons, but there is a physical limit to the space on the road.
              • No, I'm asking for basic economic fairness by saying that regulations have to be neutral and objective.

                What you are advocating is excluding the poor from operating taxis without paying a tribute to a rich guy that holds a medallion. I maintain that this is still bonkers.

    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Sunday June 03, 2018 @08:33PM (#56722296) Journal
      It doesn't have to make sense. Erdogan is a despot who at this point can pretty much do what he wants. And he is a populist pur sang... banning a disruptive foreign company fits exceedingly well in his playbook, whatever the actual rights and wrongs of the matter are.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Except he's not the only one to say that Uber is a menace, which they are.

        Uber might be cheap and convenient, bit it's a pestilence on the sustainable transport industry.

      • by sfcat ( 872532 )

        It doesn't have to make sense. Erdogan is a despot who at this point can pretty much do what he wants. And he is a populist pur sang... banning a disruptive foreign company fits exceedingly well in his playbook, whatever the actual rights and wrongs of the matter are.

        Sort of, but Turkey is a large country and still subject to the international markets. And when he says things about being against interest rates and taking control of the central bank, there are consequences. Turkey's currency is crashing (similar to what Obama did to Russia in 2014 but self inflicted) and this will cause significant issues with their ability to finance large projects and importing foreign goods becomes much more expensive. And considering food is one of the things Turkey imports in lar

    • Turkey is also blocking Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] and blaming a candy manufacturer for [vanityfair.com] fomenting a coup. [turkeypurge.com]

      Basically, you're arguing that a double rainbow and a new star appearing at the birth of Kim Jong Il doesn't make sense from meteorological OR astronomic point of view.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's ok, it's not like this is the first country that Uber has been declared illegal in (Thailand being one) and yet you can still get an Uber quite easily in Bangkok. And I would trust any of the Uber drivers farther than the tuk tuk scammers or taxi drivers that don't use the meter.

      That being said, Uber as a company has a toxic culture and deplorable tactics, and given a reasonable alternative, I'll take the alternative.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Are you telling me that declaring something as illegal does not stop people from doing it? What???

    • by voss ( 52565 )

      Uber is a per trip car hire service. It is not metered like a taxi.nor do uber drivers wear uniforms nor do they work
      full time like Taxi drivers do.

      • by satsuke ( 263225 ) on Sunday June 03, 2018 @10:07PM (#56722560)

        Uber charges passengers and pays drivers based on time and distance. The only modifier to a standard cab fare is the surge rate that acts as a multiplier on the fare.

        So yes, they act exactly as a cab company in most respects save the "for hire" status that a licensed taxi can provide.

        • So yes, they act exactly as a cab company in most respects....

          Except cleaner, safer, fairer, less smelly and more features. I agree Uber is a taxi service, but taxi monopolies are built on an outdated 20th century business model. Rather than force everyone back ott he 20th century, the better move would be to dismantle the taxi monopoly and allow real competition.

    • Same goes for the Armenian Genocide.
    • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @05:33AM (#56723568)

      In Turkey, if it walks like a dick, talks like a dick, and acts lick a dick, it's Erdogan.

  • Doesn't Erdogan only speak in rhyme?

  • Uber Facing Ban In Turkey After Erdogan Backs Taxis

    Initial skim: "Uber Facing Ban In Turkey After Evading Back Taxes".

  • Very interesting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by no-body ( 127863 ) on Sunday June 03, 2018 @09:36PM (#56722466)
    How single individuals get the power to determine the lives of well, millions or billions of people, defining how their individual lives turn.

    This ongoing game has not changed for ? 1000's of years.

    It needs two parts - the allowing and the demanding side and as always, the allowing number of individuals is by far the much larger number.

    Maybe there are some niches where this system has somewhat changed to benefit a larger part of a population. Overall, it is the same and the mechanisms to uphold this imbalance getting more and more refined.

    Has it to do something with upbringing, where behavioral patterns are formed and kept or is it genetically imprinted?

    If you look from a more distant point, it is just weird. There is some different opinion about a point and then starts this prancing and breast pounding and vassals are sent out to measure up their skills under the risk of getting injured or killed, now from very remote and safe places..

    Who benefits? It seems to just create more and more trauma in people where the opposite event, less trauma could lead to more happiness.
    • Ever driven up to a busy 4 way stop and watch how it doesn't work? People need stop lights - they need to be told what to do. That's just part of human nature, a large portion of the population would rather cede control over their lives as long as it's easier. The real problem lies in the rest of the population who don't want to cede control. They are in two camps generally, either a leave-me-the-fuck-alone camp, or the I-want-to-rule-over-the-flock camp.

      • Oh man, this!! 4 way stops are terrible. I encounter two of them during my drive to and from work and 9 times out of 10, there is mass confusion. Everyone seems to arrive at the exact same time so you end up with a bunch of different personalities:

        1. Hyper aggressive driver who barely came to a stop and wants to get going immediately. Doesn't matter if someone else has already started moving, they'll honk their horn and throw their hands up in exasperation
        2. Super nervous driver who realizes they hav
        • We need roundabouts, not 4 way stops. Even painted roundabouts for smaller junctions would be better than the hell that is a 4 way stop.

          Oh, great. Replace intersections where most people misuse their signals with roundabouts where NO ONE SIGNALS. It's very simple, you signal when you get off the roundabout, but NO. NO ONE SIGNALS.

          The answer is clearly self-driving cars, because Americans are clearly incapable of driving.

          • I'm not American, nor do I live in America but agree that self-driving cars are the answer here, and to be frank, probably most places.

            You're also right in that most people in North America don't indicate their intention in a roundabout, but they're less impacting on traffic just because the flow generally keeps on going.
        • While I agree that roundabouts are better for the flow of traffic, they do take up much more space. I wish we could replace a lot of the 4-way stops around here, but sadly there are houses and trees in the way.
      • Ever driven up to a busy 4 way stop and watch how it doesn't work? People need stop lights - they need to be told what to do.

        This is why I ride a motorbike. Fucking useless people should not be allowed to drive
        Bring on the robot cars!

    • I think it is a tree of power thing.

      People support the putative dictator because the dictator promises to give those people the power to shit on others.

      This goes down all the way, historically, the lowest level being men dominating women.

      • by no-body ( 127863 )
        <quote><p>I think it is a tree of power thing.</p><p>People support the putative dictator because the dictator promises to give those people the power to shit on others.</p><p>This goes down all the way, historically, the lowest level being men dominating women.</p></quote>

        Well, why does one need to control another?
        Feeling inferior without it maybe comes into play...

        So, as long as one feels less and that's not fixed, the insatiable need to compensate for that
        • The promises of a dictator or - narcissist, as we have it, can get hold only when someone is naive, mildly put.

          Remember that 50% of the population have below-average intelligence.

    • Re:Very interesting (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Bongo ( 13261 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @05:10AM (#56723510)

      Has it to do something with upbringing, where behavioral patterns are formed and kept or is it genetically imprinted?

      I gather it has to do with the size of the group. Fifty thousand years ago, we were organised as tribes, of about a few hundred people. Later, around the time of agriculture, and settling down, the size of the group expanded, and now you needed some way to impose order on disparate tribes. It became the time of Kings, and eventually, empires, like the Roman Empire, and the Ottoman Empire, and so on. That was also the time of the large monotheistic religions, where there was One True Way, One God, one ruler, one empire, and so on. All that coincides with what various philosophers have termed the "mythic-membership" stage of our cultural evolution. That is, you are part of the large group which has a common identity as defined by a set of myths, beliefs, and rules. The whole thing is very hierarchical. In one way or another, the "authority" of the hierarchy is divine, and the myths and laws all serve to make it work, to allow you to become an empire. It also kinda echoes in the way a child grows up and is taught the rules by the parents, and learns to think of themselves as a member of one family, rather than as being an individual who just does whatever their own impulses dictate. So all this became the normal state of the world around 2000 BC or so. And this empire + religion + sacred laws + empire is how the world was organised.

      What you are talking about now, as in, why do free thinking intelligent individuals all decide to support dictators today... is simply because the stage of empires has lasted a very long time, as it was the main game in town for thousands of years, and only since things like, the Maga Carta, and the French Revolution, and basically, the Western Enlightenment, did the system swing back from the empire-group to the individual, to a free thinking individual, and ideas like, all people are created equal, all should be well educated, etc., only recently, ie. a few hundred years, has that new structure or way of organising things, been developing.

      And the trouble is, the world is one place, but it isn't all at the same time -- the hierarchy-empire structure is still the main player in most of the world.

      The key is, the empire brings stability and safety. After that, things like democracy can start to develop. But safety comes first. Which is why "strong men" are valued, if they can appear strong enough to bring safety and stability. It is a stage which cannot be skipped.

      (Notice also, all the stuff about Western Imperialists and NeoColonialists is just a footnote, because EVERYONE was building empires every chance they could get, and it is not just some Western thing.)

      But a fatal flaw with empires is they get too big and centralised control cannot work anymore. You need the individuals to exercise their intelligence, ie. you have to give them freedom.

    • Who benefits? It seems to just create more and more trauma in people where the opposite event, less trauma could lead to more happiness.

      Is this specific about dictators or is this a generic comment? People in general benefit from collective organisation when they have to share resources. This collective needs to ultimately be decided somehow which gets done by people with power. Even in a direct democracy the system ultimately devolves to those interested in the process consolidating power over others.

      This isn't a bad thing. What is bad is if this power goes unchecked. The ideal situation is where someone with power decides things for other

      • The ideal situation is people are free to decide things for themselves precisely so jackasses can't seize control for their own benefit, handing out goodies to their supporters, exactly what this thread is about.

        What you say is the exact opposite of the ideal situation.

        • Yeah but like all extremes the "ideal situation" for your own personal opinion doesn't actually end up creating the ideal situation for you. Case in point: standard utilities and infrastructure. Ideally for your own ideology you would decide 100% yourself where you want this infrastructure to be built. But the net result will likely bankrupt you as you and the rest of the city won't ever agree on it commonly. So the true ideal situation is actually that you as a group defer the power of this decision to som

  • On the one hand... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Sunday June 03, 2018 @09:41PM (#56722476) Homepage

    On the one hand, Uber did its usual thing of going around local laws to offer their service, so they naturally got stopped at some point. I won't even attempt to make a case on whether taxi protection laws are good or bad, my hunch is that the answer is "it depends", but in any case rarely have we seen companies with as little regard of local laws as Uber.
    On the other hand, the neo-Sultan is obviously not worried about poor taxi drivers, he built the narrative he wanted: one or two sentences after the "Uber / moober" populist joke he asked where they got Uber from, and he answered "Europe of course". Which is completely wrong, it is an American company that started in San Fransisco, but he wanted to dish on Europe because the EU leaders don't seem to appreciate how he is cleansing his nation from "dangerous anti-democratic elements"...
    In general, Erdogan seems to know how to win the people, I was aghast when I saw him get the audience to applause while he was bad-mouthing Kemal Ataturk, who for Turkey is more than what Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and Roosevelt are combined for the US, but represents the opposite of the current course (Kemal established a democratic & secular nation). I can think of other leaders who had the same charisma in the past, fortunately Erdogan controls Turkey and not Germany ;)

  • by ghoul ( 157158 ) on Sunday June 03, 2018 @10:28PM (#56722630)

    Other cities Taxi drivers may overcharge you but in Istanbul they will literally steal money out of your wallet. Its a common trick. They will halt by the side of a main road ,instead of your destination saying their is construction ahead. While you try to quickly get down and pay the fare you will be hit by the second part of the plan - a highly overcharged fare which just jumped in the last 30 seconds. At this point you already have your money out of your wallet and stuck trying to figure out how the fare jumped so high. At this point they will reach into your wallet , take out a 100 and swap it (using sleight of hand) for a 20 and then say to you Ok you gave me 20, give me the rest. You as a tourist are in shock at this point and cant even argue.
    Erdogan is a populist who gets his votes from thugs and hoodlums so I am not surprised he supports Istanbul Taxi drivers.
    In comparison Uber works fantastically well in Istanbul.

    • Thee is also the question of why would anyone visit that Islamic dictatorship of a shithole.

      I've been to Turkey before Erdogan came to power, stayed almost a month travelling around, and saw the backwardness in the part of the country that most tourists don't see. I was not surprised in the least when Erdogan came to power - and held onto power.

      • Thee is also the question of why would anyone visit that Islamic dictatorship of a shithole.

        Yeah, why would anyone want to see a city with a rich history that dates well back to several thousand years before Christ? I don't get it.

        • I don't care, I am not going to patronize a regime that supports ISIS.

          • I don't care, I am not going to patronize a regime that supports ISIS.

            What you are or are not going to do has nothing to do with why others do what they do.

    • It's a good thing Turkish Uber drivers only fart rainbows.
    • Other cities Taxi drivers may overcharge you but in Istanbul they will literally steal money out of your wallet. Its a common trick.

      I'm going to Turkey later in the year and my Turkish colleague at work pretty much told me the same thing. Taxi drivers are thieves, so only use Uber.
      I was planning on Ubering but now I might catch the bus or walk everywhere...

  • I'll see myself out...

  • by Ranger ( 1783 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @02:35AM (#56723184) Homepage
    Uber is a predatory company. They took a great idea and turned it to shit. Uber gets no sympathy from me. Erdogan is far worse. He created a fake coup and led a countercoup to cement power, arresting thousands, firing thousands. He is a despot.
    • Uber is a predatory company. They took a great idea and turned it to shit.

      Are you talking as a driver or passenger? As a regular passenger I still find Uber a million times better than any taxi.

  • hard to know who to cheer for in this argument. On one hand we have a brutal dictator that is sending his country back to the dark ages. Then you have a wholly corrupt taxi industry (yes for Turkey this really is the case) Then you have Uber, a company whose business model is ignoring local laws and regulations to undercut local industry and suckers people to work as underpayed drivers.
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday June 04, 2018 @07:22AM (#56723832)

    This seems kind unsurprising, there have been plenty of stories about how part of Erdogan's power base is construction companies owned by cronies who get a ton of government contracts. I think part of the whole dictatorship toolkit is crony capitalism, make sure your loyalists hold control over at least key economic sectors if not all of them.

    In Turkey specifically, making sure your loyalists control the taxi market makes sense on several levels. One, I'd bet a lot of drivers are part of Erdogan's core demographic -- low income, more traditionally minded religiously. Two, a well-controlled taxi system provides control over transportation -- who's driving, who's being driven, etc. Three, Uber is a western company and will suck some of the profits out of Turkey, something that Erdogan won't want when his economy does relatively poorly, and four, it allows for Erdogan's cronies to reap the profits of a controlled sector.

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