Businesspeople near Turkish-Syrian border send out SOS
Erdal Sağlam - ANKARA
DHA photoBusiness circles in eastern and southeastern Turkey have called for the country’s political parties to establish a coalition government as soon as possible, highlighting the political uncertainties that have led to rising terrorist attacks and conflicts in the region.
The current instability in the region could last four or five months more if a coalition government is not formed, forcing early elections, according to local businesspeople.
The sectors most negatively affected by the recent security issues are tourism and transportation, they said, while adding that their main concern was the country’s political future.
“Our biggest problem is with the political uncertainties in the country. I mean, we want to see the formation of a new government, as all the political uncertainties have affected our business activities quite negatively,” said the head of the Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce, Eyüp Bartık.
Bartık said the recent political turmoil in the region had not had a specific impact on Gaziantep’s trade volume, but rather on tourism activities.
“We had focused on reviving the tourism sector for the last three years, and we had actually started to harvest the yields of these moves. The recent conflicts have, however, hit the sector as many tour operators have canceled their reservations out of security concerns,” he added.
The head of the Gaziantep Chamber of Industry, Adil Sani Konukoğlu, also complained about the recent political uncertainties in the country.
“What needs to be done must be done immediately … A new coalition government must be formed. If the government cannot be formed, then a decision for an early election must be made. We just want to continue our business,” he said.
Export and transportation activities had already taken a hit in recent years, according to businesspeople in the region, who said more sectors are likely to be harmed by the worsening situation.
“We have seen that the possibilities of the formation of a new coalition government have been vanishing. If the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) had wanted to establish a government, they would have made it in just one week. There is a rising perception in the public that there will be early elections in the coming weeks, but this possibility will hit our region’s already shaky economy more,” said the head of the Antakya Trade Bourse, Mehmet Ali Kuseyri.
According to Kuseyri, construction figures have been worsening in the region, and negative figures are also expected in the automotive sector in the coming days.
The head of Kilis’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Erdal Öndeş, said commercial activities were curtailed in the border province in the run-up to the June 7 election, adding that a new government must be formed as soon as possible to enable business activities to restart.