Local shopkeepers asked to declare losses from Gezi

Local shopkeepers asked to declare losses from Gezi

Güneş Kömürcüler ANKARA / ISTANBUL
Local shopkeepers asked to declare losses from Gezi

2 million local shopkeepers will declare their loss from the protests. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

The Confederation of Turkish Craftsmen and Tradesmen (TESK) asked its 2 million members to declare their losses from the countrywide protests in a written letter on July 19.

The confederation requested from its members to submit their losses with accompanying documents and other informative sources, if any, by the end of July.

“The losses of the craftsmen and tradesmen from the protests will be compensated by the Ministry of Customs and Trade,” the head of the TESK Bendevi Palandöken told the Hürriyet Daily News in a telephone interview yesterday, while declining to comment about his own estimates of the losses.

“We need to see the solid declaration of our members to give an exact number. There is a big loss, we need to accept. We need to do something else, which is of greater importance; many craftsmen and tradesmen, specifically who do business in Taksim, have been suffering for the last two months,” he said. According to Palandöken, everybody now needed to do what should be done. “Young protesters said what they had wanted to, I believe. They said that they had not wanted a mall in the area where the Gezi Park is located; and they took what they had wanted. Accordingly, the police forces need to empty the Taksim district. A normalization process should get started as soon as possible,” he said.

There is no exact figure about the losses of around 5,000 craftsmen and tradesmen in the area where the Gezi protests took place. While some sector representatives said the loss was around 50 million Turkish Liras, Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan said the loss was around 75 million liras.

In the meantime, some sector representatives blamed the Gezi protesters for their losses, in a press meeting last week. Some other shopkeepers then reacted to these comments by organizing their own press meeting, saying that their economic problems went further back than the Gezi Park rallies, and their woes had been ongoing for the last two years, mainly from the ban on placing tables and chairs outside of establishments.