Why is TÜSİAD’s advertisement important?
Almost 10 days after the military coup attempt in Turkey, we are not quiet back to normal. Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square, which has been the venue for demonstrations every night since the coup attempt, hosted a major rally over the weekend. As main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said at this rally, “the coup attempt was the result of having a third-class democracy.”
Indeed, the coup attempt and the debates on capital punishment that we have had in the aftermath, as well as developments like the declaration of a state of emergency, continue to create concerns in the public as well as the political circles in the West.
For instance, the French daily Le Monde, in its Sunday July 24 on Turkey, posed the question “whether Turks are being dragged to an anti-democratic authoritarian regime after dodging a military dictatorship.” The article emphasized that Turkey, a country with has a key significance in NATO, was becoming more fragile.
On the same day as that editorial, an advertisement taken out by the prestigious Turkish Business and Industry Association (TÜSİAD) was also published in Le Monde. It was incredible timing.
The advertisement was titled, “Defending the Democratic Constitutional Order in Turkey.” In it, TÜSİAD noted that all political parties in parliament had adopted a joint stance. “We have seen that despite differences within society, compromise is possible under peaceful and democratic conditions,” it said.
The statement also reiterated that Turkey’s economy was fully integrated with global markets and has sustained relatively high and stable growth, despite the global economy’s uncertainties and despite the fact that the country is hosting 3 million Syrian refugees.
The statement also highlighted the significance of Turkey’s EU membership process.
It was also printed in three newspapers other than Le Monde: The Financial Times on Saturday and the Washington Post and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Sunday.
So this ad from TÜSİAD, in three different languages, has reached millions of people. It is no doubt important in terms of sending the correct message to the international public.
However, it is also important that it was sent by a prestigious institution such as TÜSİAD, which is well-known and respected in the West, which conducts top level relations with Western business circles, which maintains stable relationships with similar institutions, and which emphasizes “democracy” at every opportunity.
I have spoken to TÜSİAD head Cansen Başaran-Symes and she told me they wanted to reach out internationally on a critical issue.
“The international public is trying to understand the gravity of the incidents experienced. Different opinions can appear in the media of any country, but these opinions can change over time with the right information and steady actions,” she said.
Cansen Başaran-Symes said TÜSİAD has undertaken the responsibility to act swiftly in this environment, activating its strong position in international economic circles. “The ads that we posted are the sum of the views that we share in all international communication networks,” she added.