Turkcell CEO: Huawei reliable partner despite security allegations

Published 06.02.2019 00:06

Despite recent security gap allegations, Huawei is a reliable business partner for Turkey's leading mobile phone operator Turkcell and the two will continue to work together, according to Turkcell CEO Kaan Terzioğlu.

Terzioğlu said the 21st century is built on the processing of personal data, stressing that by running personal data without permission, digital imperialism surrounds the individual in every field and tries to manipulate their decisions. "The issue is not just the safe storage of personal data, but the enthusiasm of several global companies to decide everything," he was cited as saying by Anadolu Agency.

Terzioğlu said the security gap allegations related to Huawei cannot be dealt with separately from these developments. "The situation with Huawei is quite complicated. It would not be right to assess the situation that Huawei is facing by ignoring the rivalry in the smartphone market and the challenge of who will have a say in 5G infrastructure," he noted.

Recalling that last year, there was also constant negative news about another smartphone manufacturer, he argued whenever an unexpected company takes the lead in the competition, they try to be interrupted immediately.

"No one should expect us to act upon unproven claims. Turkcell will continue to work with its longtime business partner Huawei," Terzioğlu added.

Last month, the U.S. unsealed two indictments tied to alleged illegality by Huawei, including alleged theft of trade secrets. A 13-count indictment charged Huawei, two Huawei affiliates as well as Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou with financial fraud related to attempts to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran. Huawei has rejected the charges.

U.S. prosecutors are attempting to extradite Meng from Canada, where she has been released on bail after being taken into custody at Vancouver International Airport in December.

The U.S., France and other Western nations have voiced concern that using Huawei base stations and other gear could give Beijing access to critical network infrastructure worldwide, possibly allowing it to spy on foreign governments.

Huawei denied any law violations or wrongdoings.

Terzioğlu pointed out that the importance of Turkcell's initiatives in developing domestic and national technologies was once again clearly demonstrated. "Data security is a matter of national security that occupies the agenda of the whole world," he said. "Recently, we have witnessed many Western companies failing to secure personal data. There are many ongoing cases and investigations related to these issues. We are therefore aware of potential risks."

He further stressed they are very cautious about their business partners, saying, "We have our own methods to secure our data and network. We are prepared for all kinds of risks. We both monitor all the devices we have purchased on the hardware side 24/7 and run our own software on them."

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