Waiting For Some Expert Advice

As Istanbul lawyer Savas Inandioglu accurately predicted, the judge deciding on whether TicketTurk is legally obliged to pay promoter Boray Dundar’s outstanding debt to Megadeth has called for some expert advice.

A December 6th hearing at the city’s commercial court was adjourned to March 7th after Judge Abdullah Kaya called for an accountant to assess the debt and a legal expert to examine the ticketing company’s obligation to pay it.

There’s little likelihood of the matter being resolved in the spring, as Inandioglu, who’s acting for the U.S. rockers, and Eckmecki & Karakus – TicketTurk’s lawyers – are both entitled to raise an objection to whatever opinions the experts come up with.

Apart from that, Judge Kaya may ask either (or both) of the experts to clarify any part of the advice he doesn’t understand. The first hearing was originally scheduled for October 11th but the judge adjourned to December 6th for “procedural reasons.”

Three days before that first hearing, TicketTurk finance director Eyup Uyan contacted Inandioglu with the offer of a settlement because NTV – Turkey’s main television news station – had picked up on an October 7th story from Pollstar and started running its own pieces on the case.

Inandioglu, who’s a partner in Topdemir & Inandioglu, has two such cases on the go. Taking advice from Charmenko, the Istanbul-based agency that booked international acts for Dundar’s disastrous 2005 Rock Istanbul Festival, is also acting for Garbage.

The Garbage case opened November 3rd but was adjourned until February 2nd because Eckmecki & Karakus tried to convince the judge that the same action was going through the Turkish judicial system twice.

By the time Inandioglu convinced the court he was bringing two separate actions, one for Garbage and the other for Megadeth, it was also time to call it a day.

The 20 divisions of Istanbul’s Tribunal of Commerce have a backlog of about 2,000 cases apiece.

Inandioglu is holding two documents, both apparently signed by TicketTurk managing director Gulseren Onanc and dated September 20, 2005, that appear to commit her company to honoring the debts that Dundar still owes to both acts.

“Right now, neither me nor my company owns any money or property,” Dundar told Pollstar in March, as he prepared to set up Rock Istanbul 2006.

Charmenko’s Nick Hobbs was angry because he hadn’t been able to enforce the court orders he has against Dundar – “because there’s nothing to enforce them against” – and accused him of “embarking on another crazy adventure without paying last year’s debts.”

“We really don’t understand why people are uncomfortable about our efforts to have new shows and are trying to stop us, since we have to work to earn money so that we can pay our debts,” was Dundar’s response.

Rock Istanbul 2006 was scheduled for June 17-18 but morphed into a July 11th one-dayer at Istanbul’s 12,000-capacity Kuru├žesme Arena and bankrolled by TicketTurk.

Dundar ran it in under a new company called Rock Istanbul.org – as opposed to the old Rock Istanbul – and the board included former Fil Yapim director Murat Dogan and former employee Gurol Yilmaz. Fil Yapim was a partner in Rock Istanbul 2005 but had since gone bankrupt.

The company’s Istanbul offices were boarded up with an eviction notice nailed to the door.

The gig, which was headlined by Guns N’ Roses, only half-filled the stadium and reportedly went down for about a quarter of a million dollars.

The fee didn’t go through Dundar’s hands, thereby evading Charmenko’s distraining orders, as TicketTurk – which is said to be the subject of interest from ticketing giant CTS Eventim – paid it direct to one of the German company’s promoters.

Joe Rambock from Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur said he brokered the show, one of a run he put together for the U.S. rockers, and that the money was guaranteed – and paid – by TicketTurk.

The most likely reason TicketTurk is bankrolling Dundar is that he’s the only client it has in the rock market and, with Turkey’s huge Dogan media group also reportedly interested in the company, it wants to maintain its profile in the market.

It’s the country’s second largest ticketing company, although only about a quarter of the size of the now Ticketmaster-owned Biletix.

— John Gammon