Turkish business world demands low-tension presidential election from PM Erdoğan
ANKARAThe Turkish business world wants a temperate presidential election that will “establish peace” in the country, Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu has said, speaking after a widely-participated consultation meeting with the prime minister.
“We, as the business world, believe the presidential elections will be completed moderately. As a result, we also wish for establishment of peace in our country,” Hisarcıklıoğlu told reporters on June 18 after the meeting between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and delegates from the private sector.
“We should find peace to focus on our businesses, to produce, invest and export more as the business world. Our job is already making the environment better for merchants and industrialists, raising their competitive power and coming up with solutions,” he added.
Prime Minister Erdoğan came together with leaders of some of Turkey’s most prominent business organizations, including the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) and the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD), during the “Consultation with Business World” meeting hosted by the TOBB on June 18.
The meeting was organized for the business world to discuss with Erdoğan the upcoming presidential polls in August, in which Turkish citizens will directly elect the Turkish president for the first time ever.
Hisarcıklıoğlu underlined that all participants had the chance to express their views and convey their opinions to the prime minister. “We think it will be right to act through principles. Elections are one of the most important mechanisms of democracy through which the national will shows itself,” he said.
Along with Hisarcıklıoğlu, TÜSİAD Chairman Haluk Dinçer, MÜSİAD Chairman Nail Olpak, Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) Chairman Mehmet Büyükekşi, Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB) Chairman Başaran Ulusoy, Anatolian Tiger Businessmen’s Association (ASKON) Chairman Mustafa Koca, All Industrialist and Businessmen’s Association (TÜMSİAD) Chairman Hasan Sert, Turkish Union of Contractors (TMB) Chairman Mithat Yenigün, Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TÜRKONFED) Chairman Süleyman Onatça, and Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED) Chairman Osman Ayık took part in the meeting.
Culture and Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, former Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım and the prime minister’s chief adviser, Yalçın Akdoğan, accompanied Erdoğan during the meeting.
AKP to announce candidate at end of June
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at a press meeting on June 19 before leaving for Viena that he had “nothing to say” about the candidacy of Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, who has been nominated by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). “Our public will make the decision on Aug. 10,” he said.
However, in reference to CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli identifying a joint opposition candidate, Erdoğan said “They have founded an umbrella with no foundation.”
On the subject of the candidate of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Erdoğan said they would announce their decision by the end of this month.
The media has widely speculated that the AKP’s candidate will be Erdoğan himself, with a number of Cabinet ministers saying that he should be.