Turkey’s largest business group on Sept. 23 sought to assure
businesspeople on the political and economic stability in the country following the failed July 15 coup attempt.
Cansen Başaran-Symes, chairwoman of the influential Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), said the defeated coup attempt led to confusion among German
business partners, but their exchanges in Berlin offered a better picture of the situation.
“We are closely following the German
media coverage and the negative atmosphere regarding Turkey since the July 15 coup attempt. Our aim with this visit has been to correct the wrong perceptions, by clearly telling what has really happened in Turkey. We have had very fruitful meetings,” she told a press conference.
Başaran-Symes emphasized that the coup attempt was a real threat against democracy and defeated after the Turkish people took to the streets while political leaders, NGOs, and business organizations demonstrated unity. The July 15 coup attempt was believed to have been organized by followers of U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen. Turkey’s declaration of a three-month state of emergency in the aftermath of the events and seizure of assets belonging to several businessmen suspected of having links to the group led to concerns among some foreign investors.
Başaran-Symes underlined that the measures so far had a very limited effect on the business of big companies.
She said concerns expressed by some foreign investors on the investment climate in Turkey would likely be addressed by expected measures towards further normalization in the country and by the realization of much-awaited reforms.
“I believe that we can address the remaining concerns on the investment climate by swiftly focusing on the reforms and by demonstrating our economic advantages,” she said.
The Turkish businesswoman also stressed the importance of reviving Turkey’s stalled EU membership talks, to facilitate positive developments in the country.
“We believe that Turkey’s EU process has become more important than any time before. During our meetings in Germany we have underlined the need for creating a positive agenda between the EU and Turkey again,” she said.
Başaran-Symes called on Germany to use its influence for reviving EU-Turkey ties, by opening chapters 23 and 24 in Turkey’s EU membership talks, which cover the reforms in the fields of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights.
EU heavyweight Germany is Turkey’s main economic and trade partner. In 2015, the bilateral trade volume reached 36.8 billion euros. More than 6,500 German
companies are currently active in Turkey.