Kılıçdaroğlu listens to victims of US-Turkey crisis in business world
The recent visa crisis with the United States has been negatively affecting the business world and even more importantly, has been causing increasing distress among businesspeople due to the consequential crisis Turkey has been experiencing. This is what has been understood by their complaints after the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, met with them last week in the Aegean province of Denizli.
Kılıçdaroğlu came together with businesspeople and opinion leaders in Denizli and afterwards told reporters about the meeting. Journalists were not allowed at the meeting in order for them to be able to talk more comfortably. Therefore, we have asked Kılıçdaroğlu to share the complaints from the business community with us. From what he has said, it can be understood that the successive crisis in foreign policy has respectively tired the business world and has increased the sense of hopelessness. The recent visa crisis with the U.S. was the final point for this.
It is natural the despondency caused by the crisis has been felt more strongly in the business world, especially in regions such as Denizli, which does production based on exports.
Businesspeople told Kılıçdaroğlu that the crisis with the U.S. and tensions with the West in general, has been affecting their work very much and these mistakes in foreign policy must be solved as soon as possible.
Kılıçdaroğlu said bathrobe producers especially, who have an important place among textile production in Denizli, which is the prominent sector in the province, have many complaints because their biggest market in business is the U.S.
“We will make a business connection and sign an agreement, but the foreigners with whom we will do business with hesitate coming to Turkey. They want us to go to their country and make the agreement there,” one businessperson has told Kılıçdaroğlu regarding the distress he has been facing during his recent business connections.
“Apparently, we are also afraid foreigners are being arrested on various pretexts,” a foreign businessperson told his Turkish interlocutor. Similar complaints about foreign businesspeople were shown as an example of the bad perception created because of the crisis in the West.
In short, businesspeople have been saying, “Politics cannot go on like this.”
Kılıçdaroğlu noted agriculture and tourism were also strong sectors in Denizli. He said there are complaints about agriculture policies and product prices, and although tourism seems like it has become better this year, the problems are still ongoing.
“Businesspeople want Denizli to turn into a ‘Product center with high added-value’ and say they have the adequate infrastructure for it. But they also complain about the ‘rise in energy prices,’” he said.
“In an atmosphere like this, we cannot expect businesspeople to make new investments. They have also said so themselves, ‘Since we cannot see ahead, we cannot think of investments,’” he added.
Kılıçdaroğlu said complaints have recently increased from every region in the business world, not only from Denizli. It is businesspeople who have been affected from bad policies first and this atmosphere of complaints is spreading slowly to every sector.
As a result of this, Kılıçdaroğlu reminded journalists that citizens in Denizli had voted “no” with an important ratio in the April 2017 referendum and claimed support for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has continuously been decreasing.
Kılıçdaroğlu announced the CHP’s general vision in five interwoven rings: (1) a more strong and independent judiciary, (2) production of high added-value products, (3) rendering universities with a free structure that will equip them for information production, (4) forming a peaceful and balanced foreign policy and (5) establishing social peace and democracy. Kılıçdaroğlu said all of these need to be put in practice together with ensured sustainability.