Business world demands broad coalition in Turkey

Business world demands broad coalition in Turkey

With the first round of negotiations to form a coalition government having started, demands voiced by the business world have been increasing, mostly saying that a “broad-based coalition should be formed soon.”  

The data for the first six months of the year does not give much hope in terms of Turkey’s growth rate. While a serious slowdown can be observed in industrial production, export figures are also at their lowest.  

The week started with both the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) and the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) expressing their opinions, drawing attention to the recent slowdown in growth and saying high growth rates should be reached again, for which coalition efforts should start and be concluded as soon as possible.

Even though it is not mentioned openly, it is possible to state that the business world supports a “grand coalition” between the two largest parties, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican People’s Party (CHP). Not only businesspeople in Turkey, but also those abroad have such a demand. 

TÜSİAD head Cansen Başaran Symes said economic reforms should be introduced soon to accelerate growth, adding that no more time should be lost. Symes said it is not the structure of the government, but rather its power that they care about. “Mathematically, the two biggest parties forming a coalition would naturally be powerful,” she said. 

TOBB head Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu also said last weekend that a coalition government should soon be formed. Noting that there are many issues that must be addressed in the economy, Hisarcıklıoğlu said it was important for a coalition to be formed in order to focus on launching necessary economic reforms.

New elections not wanted  

While Turkey was growing at 3 percent, rivals were growing at 7 percent, Hisarcıklıoğlu said. 

“While we took a step, rivals were taking two steps. We have not been able to conduct necessary structural reforms in the economy. Since 2010, an election has been held every year. Structural reforms cannot be made at a time of elections. Now there are no elections due within the coming four years. Whatever is required in the economy should be done,” he added. 

The business world, rightly, does not want more time to be lost. It therefore demands that a coalition government be formed soon. 

As far as we can see, political parties are feeling the pressure. But while on the one hand they are saying, “We will do whatever we can for a coalition,” on the other hand they are aware that the difficulties of a coalition will only be overcome with much difficulty. 

So coalition talks started in such an environment this week. The second round of talks will be held after the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Then we will be able to see the real picture. By the end of this month we will begin to see whether or not the demands of the business world will be met.