Nearly 475 members of top Turkish business group resign amid probe into coup attempt: Minister
AA photoNearly 475 members of Turkey’s biggest business association have so far resigned since the start of the investigation into the failed July 15 coup attempt, Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkci has said, vowing that the fight against the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) would continue.
“A total of 16 chairs, 17 assembly chief and 442 assembly members so far left the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey [TOBB], amounting to some 5 percent of the total number of association members. We need to continue our fight against FETÖ and clear them out,” said Tüfenkci on Aug. 31 at the TOBB Joint Council Meeting.
“But while we are fighting against terror organizations, we are also taking steps to ensure economic improvement at the same time … Whatever they do, we will keep producing and manufacturing to grow our economy further,” he added.
Tüfenkci vowed that the fight against FETÖ must continue in both the public sector and the private sector.
“This structure has infiltrated into the chambers and bourses, as well as the state institutions. As the cabinet members, we earlier asked for the cleansing of them from the chambers and bourses rather than intervening directly ourselves,” he said.
He signaled that the ministry might step in if any slackness is observed on this issue.
At least 81,000 people have been suspended or dismissed from state organizations over suspected links to FETÖ, the authorities announced last month.
‘First reaction to coup attempt’
At the same meeting, TOBB President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said the TOBB was the “first association” to show a reaction against the coup attempt and state that it did not recognize the uprising.
“We have collected 27 million Turkish Liras [$9 million] in aid under the leadership of our association to make a contribution to the aid campaign, which was launched by the state for the families of the people who lost their lives or were injured when they fought to protect democracy,” Hisarcıklıoğlu added.
He said the association had based its activities following the coup attempt upon three pillars, which would offer support in improving Turkey’s image abroad.
“We have forged contacts with our counterparts in 98 countries, as well as 25 international business organizations. In a bid to avert disinformation abroad, we have informed them immediately. We will also be in China as a part of the delegation headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to attend the G-20 meetings,” Hisarcıklıoğlu stated.