Global transport technology leader UBER is on the target of taxi drivers in Turkey. Taxi drivers have opened a court case against UBER calling for access-blocking, and held a protest meeting against the network in front of Istanbul Çağlayan Courthouse today. Ministry of Interior has also drafted a bill after the discussions on “unauthorised transport activities”.
[mks_dropcap style="letter" size="52" bg_color="#ffffff" txt_color="#000000"]U[/mks_dropcap]BER has been giving services similar to taxis, through its mobile application. Istanbul Chamber of Taxi Drivers has gathered in front of the Istanbul Çağlayan Courthouse with 200 members, honking the cars in protest of UBER. Eyüp Aksu, the chairperson of the chamber has said “we do not wish to act like taxi drivers in Europe and burn cities, destroy things. If our parliament does not work on this issue, if the judiciary rules another kind of decision, the taxi drivers’ patience will run out. Taxi driver does anything for his bread.”   UBER GIVEN TIME FOR DEFENSE Istanbul 10th Commercial Court welcomed the lawyers of United Taxi Drivers Association who suggested that the Highway Transport Regulation has been changed and called for restrictions against UBER. Lawyers stated that access to UBER platform should be blocked. Court has given two weeks for the transport network for preparing a defense statement. Next hearing of the court case has been postponed to June 4th, also to wait for expert opinion. DRAFT BILL AGAINST UBER Ministry of Interior has drafted a new bill after recent discussions on unauthorised transport activities, which emerged with extensive use of UBER. If bill is accepted, vehicles carrying people without the permission listed in registration documents will be blocked from traffic. UBER DRIVER SHOT AT An UBER-registered vehicle in Istanbul’s Küçükçekmece at Canary District has been shot by unidentified shooter(s) on March 10. Four bullets have hit the vehicle while no one was hurt. One bullet that targeted the vehicle has hit the empty passenger seat. BEATING OF THE UBER DRIVER In media reports on March 7, it has been stated that taxi drivers have downloaded the app and called for an UBER only to physically assault the driver. The beaten driver has applied to court, the investigation continues. UBER USERS STARTED SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN After the court case, bill proposal, physical attack and shooting attempt, UBER users have started a social media campaign with two hashtags. The first one states “do not touch UBER” while the second one says “I am not taking a taxi”. The campaigns have entered trending topics list on Turkish timeline.