Green plan irks businessmen

Green plan irks businessmen

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Green plan irks businessmen

A foggy view from an organized industrial zone in Istanbul’s İkitelli district is seen in this file photo.

Industrialists with investments in Istanbul are worried by what they say is a new environmental master plan that envisages the deindustrialization of Turkey’s largest city, according to a top businessman. 

“Industrialists in Istanbul are on a knife edge, so to speak. They are deprived of the possibility to expand their facilities or initiate new investments [in Istanbul]. Additional industrialization in Istanbul is not allowed as part of the new plan,” Tanıl Küçük, the head of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry and the operator of a confectionary products business, said yesterday at an industry association 
meeting in Istanbul, daily Hürriyet reported.

Factories provide 40 percent of the total employment in Istanbul, meaning that it would be unthinkable for the city to be deprived of industry, he said, adding that this did not mean Istanbul’s industrial scene should remain static.

Küçük’s remarks were in contrast to Industry Minister Nihat Ergün, who attended the meeting. Istanbul will have industry like many other cities in the world, Ergün said, accoring to the Anatolia news agency.

However, Küçük said the plan calls for business leaders to be pushed toward investing in organized industrial zones so that such areas, in which prices are ballooning, could be completely exploited. 

“Industrialists of Istanbul do not have enough money for such investments. To overcome these problems, allocating plots for the industrial investments should be on the agenda,” he said.

“Serious questions have arisen on the future of the plants that remain outside the areas that are determined as industrial zones,” he said, adding that the chamber had registered its objections to the environmental master plan with the metropolitan municipality, which has been carrying out studies on the plan since late 2005. 

Even though some revisions were made to the plan, Küçük said they had not eased industrialists’ concerns and added that business leaders had been left in the dark and were anxious.

Expanding industry in Anatolia

“The 1/100,000 scale environmental master plan of the city does not mean that ‘We do not want industry in Istanbul,’” Ergün said at the meeting. 

Noting that Turkey aimed to become the manufacturing hub and research and development center of its surrounding region, Ergün said the whole country was being taken into consideration to achieve this target.

“We have to discuss the issue of industrialization on a country-wide scale [not a provincial scale],” 
he said.

An integrated industrialization plan is needed that connects Istanbul to the provinces to the east and west of the city, he said. 

“We have to think of our workplace together with today’s communication and transportation opportunities. We need to make an industry plan that will penetrate to deep Anatolia and carve industry policies accordingly,” he said. 

Speaking on the high prices of plots in the organized industrial zones, Ergün said reasonably priced, long-term leasing methods could be instituted. 

Noting that other world cities also had industry, Küçük said, “Paris is a culture, tourism and fashion center, but it has not excluded industry.”

Environment, pollution, industrial waste,