Turkey's president says Uber is 'over'

It might just be a matter of time before there's an actual ban.

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Reuters/Osman Orsal
Reuters/Osman Orsal

You might not want to count on hailing an Uber car in Istanbul any time soon. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed at a Ramadan dinner that the ridesharing outfit's business is "over" in the country, with the interior ministry reportedly giving "the orders." Uber currently runs under a license that costs much less than taxi plates (about $760 US instead of $360,000), but Erdogan argued that it was "not possible" to offer a taxi alternative with that lower-cost option.

We've asked Uber for comment. Its service continues to operate in Turkey as of this writing, although there's a court hearing on Uber scheduled for June 4th. Critics aren't entirely convinced there will be a shutdown, though -- one Uber operator speaking to Bloomberg called an anti-Uber crackdown an "election pledge" that didn't carry much weight.

If there is a ban, it would compound Uber's ongoing problems finding acceptance abroad. It recently dodged bans in places like the Czech Republic and Egypt, but it hasn't always been lucky -- just look at London as an example. In Turkey's case, it's facing both the usual opposition from taxi drivers as well as a nationalistic government bent on protecting local businesses.

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