CEOs in Turkey back Gezi Park protestors

CEOs in Turkey back Gezi Park protestors

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
CEOs in Turkey back Gezi Park protestors

Around 90 percent of CEOs in Turkey found the Gezi Park protesters to be justified, according to a comprehensive new survey. A large majority of them awarded no more than ‘5 out of 10’ for the government’s crisis management. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Nearly half, 48 percent, of the 137 CEOs in Turkey said they had visited Gezi Park during the anti-government protests and around 90 percent of them found the protesters’ claims justified, according to a comprehensive survey by Turkish weekly economy and business magazine Ekonomist.

The Ekonomist editorial staff asked 11 questions about the anti-government protests, the government’s response to the protests and the effects of the protests on Turkish economy to the members of the CEO Club, an organization formed by Ekonomist and monthly Capital with the participation of more than 500 CEOs in Turkey. “137 CEOs answered our questions, and this is very high participation,” the magazine said.

Around 90 percent of 137 CEOs in Turkey found the Gezi Park protesters right, according to the study. A majority (54.8 percent) said the starting point of the protests was “a reaction to many policies of the Turkish government.” According to 26.1 percent of the CEOs, the protests should be seen as “some way of democratic claiming of people’s rights,” while only 11.3 percent saw the movement as part of an “environmentalist cause.”

Meanwhile, 41.2 percent of the CEOs said the protests and the police response had gone on for so long because of the “harsh touch of Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan,” while 30.4 percent of the CEOs found the “harsh police response” as the main accelerator. To only 11.8 percent of the CEOs were “some provocative groups” considered the main party responsible.

Around 53 percent of the CEOs said they would give just 1 out of 10 points for the government’s management to the crisis; even more, 92 percent gave not more than five of 10.

Economy to be ‘affected’

Around 60 percent of the 137 CEOs said their businesses had been affected more or less negatively by the protests and harsh police response.

Unless the Gezi riots calm down, the tourism sector would be affected most negatively, according to the CEOs. The second biggest negative effect of the riots on the economy would be a slowing in foreign direct investment in Turkey. 16 percent of the CEOs believed that the capital markets would be affected more if the riots and the harsh response did not calm down.