Turkey’s emergency rule should be ended as soon as possible, TÜSİAD urges
Turkey’s top business group has voiced its request for the end of the country’s state of emergency “as soon as possible,” warning that foreign investors are being dissuaded by its continuation.
The Turkish Business and Industry Association (TÜSİAD) also urged the “restoration of democratic rule” in the country and the realization of key structural reforms in order for Turkey to maintain investor confidence, both local and foreign.
The head of TÜSİAD’s high advisory council said the rule of law is the main precondition of a robust economy, as it guarantees fair competition.
“The years when Turkey was still on the path to becoming an EU member were also the ones when the country enjoyed a more independent and neutral judicial system, a wider range of freedom of expression and of thought, and a stronger rule of law. During those years, Turkey reached record high economic growth levels and foreign direct investment [FDI] figures,” said Tuncay Özilhan, the head of TÜSİAD’s high advisory council, in his opening speech at the 48th Ordinary General Board Meeting of the association in Istanbul on Jan. 18.
“When regression was seen in these qualities, Turkey always saw a decline in both its growth levels and FDI inflows. The greater steps Turkey that takes to maintain the rule of law, the higher FDI inflows and growth rates it will enjoy. These will also lead to more jobs. From this perspective, we hope that the state of emergency has now been extended for the last time. Even if the impact of the emergency rule is limited for Turkish citizens, we quite know that its impact on foreign investors’ perceptions or investment decisions is negative,” Özilhan added.
Özilhan also stressed the importance of an “end of polarization” in the society, saying that “both the government and the opposition have things to do to achieve this goal.” The government should embrace the whole society and open the way for opposition and a culture of discussion, while the opposition should instill hope by creating “constructive and robust projects,” he said.
Özilhan also urged the passing of structural reforms in Turkey in order to create permanent solutions to various problems rather than temporary solutions, adding that “short-term solutions” had led to the return of economic problems that Turkey faced back in 1990s.
‘Restoration of democracy’
In his speech at the meeting, TÜSİAD Chair Erol Bilecik called for the “urgent restoration of democratic rule,” a return to the “reform agenda,” and an “easing of the diplomatic tone.”
“In the first days of 2018, we have felt some heaviness in the general mood in our country. A rise in social polarization and some approaches that do not comply with the demands of the 21st century and modern social life disturbs all of us,” Bilecik said.
“We urgently need to return to the democratic climate and reform agenda. A careful diplomatic voice of the state apparatus should also support this trend,” he added.