Megadeth’s Slow Death In Turkish Court

Megadeth must feel it’s a slow death in the Turkish courts as the U.S. rockers haven’t managed to get the money they claim to be owed by the organizers of the Rock Istanbul 2005 Festival.

The money was originally owed by festival organiser Boray Dundar because he failed to settle with the act when the event hit a financial wall.

In September 2005, some three months after the Rock Istanbul organisers had started slipping into bankruptcy, TicketTurk – the country’s second-largest managing ticketing business – made what appeared to be a written undertaking to take over the debt and also a similar one owed to Garbage, another American rock act to get burned when the festival failed.

When it came to paying up, TicketTurk managing director Gulseren Onanc – who had appeared to be the signatory on both the letters of undertaking – denied her company had taken on these festival debts.

When Pollstar asked her about the letters and the fact she appears to have signed them, she said she wasn’t "to discuss the matter with journalists."

Both the Megadeth and Garbage issues then centred on whether the two undertakings to pay the money were valid under Turkish law.

The commercial court adjourned to get the views of various financial and legal experts, as it usually does in hearings of this nature. It’s such common practice that the 20 divisions of Istanbul’s Tribunal of Commerce have a backlog of about 2,000 cases apiece.

On March 7th, the Asliye Ticaret Mahkemesi ruled that the TicketTurk letter referring to the Megadeth debt is legal and binding.

But that’s not the end of the matter. TicketTurk’s lawyers at Eckmecki & Karakus, who once sent Pollstar a letter saying there was no "legal and binding" debt for its client to pay, have now started to argue that Istanbul-based agency Charmenko – who booked both acts on to Rock Istanbul – is trying to claim the same debt twice.

Savas Inandioglu, representing both U.S. acts in their respective cases, now has to go back to court June 14th to show that isn’t the case.

Eckmecki & Karakus stalled the first of the three Garbarge hearings so far by saying the same action was being brought to court twice, causing the case to be adjourned for two months before Inandioglu had chance to show the court that the TicketTurk lawyers were mistaking the separate Megadeth and Garbage cases as being the same one.

Now he has to show that the money Charmenko is claiming against the festival organisers for the fees it paid out of its own funds to avoid the acts going home empty-handed (and the money owed on commissions) is entirely separate from the balance of the fees that TicketTurk has undertaken to pay to pay Megadeth and Garbage.