Everything on hold due to expectations of cabinet change

Everything on hold due to expectations of cabinet change

Together with the expectation of a change in the cabinet, the bureaucracy in Ankara seems to have put everything on hold. One can particularly observe the rise of complaints from big private sector companies that “things have not been working in the bureaucracy for a long time.”

Representatives from the private sector say that this “on hold” period has gone on too long and that even daily work is now disrupted. They say that this holdup has become chronic and that it is having a seriously discouraging effect on making plans for the future.

In fact, they see the beginning of the bottleneck in the bureaucracy as the July 2016 coup attempt. One representative from the sector said many civil servants were shuffled due to the Fetullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) operations after the coup attempt, and that not all those dismissed were replaced by new ones. Moreover, many have said the newly appointed ones had not fully adapted to their positions. The same person said the workload of some of the qualified personnel increased tremendously which also prolonged the procedures. 

“Actually I need to say that we are still scared and very careful when we talk with civil servants because we are concerned whether the person whom we are talking with today could be revealed to be a member of FETÖ tomorrow,” the rep said.

The purge in the economy bureaucracy

Following the purges associated with July 15 came the referendum, said another private sector representative, underlining the fact that the bureaucracy had not been able to focus on the needs of the sector and, when compounded by incompetence, business entered a period in which everything was put on serious hold. Following the referendum, just as there was the feeling that everyone would get back to business, rumors of a cabinet change started to circulate, said the same person. As this issue is not being clarified, this has increased the hesitant attitude among civil servants, he said, adding that things were going nowhere as a result of what had happened over the past year.

Expectations on cabinet change

The private sector is closely following the issue of the cabinet change in regards to their work. “There is an immediate need to have this issue clarified. If there is a plan to change the cabinet, then they should do it immediately; if not, then they should state that there will not be a cabinet change; otherwise this holdup will continue,” one said.

Last week, rumors spread suggesting that the process for the cabinet change had stopped or that the process had become complicated due to the fact that those left outside the cabinet would be perceived as being members of FETÖ. Yet Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s statement on his return from Greece that a cabinet change happens suddenly, instead of with lots of fanfare, increased speculation once more.

A representative of a foreign company said foreign investors needed special attention since it was becoming very difficult to explain to the headquarters what is happening in Turkey. According to that representative, the concerns of foreign investors need to be taken care of, as foreign investors had the prevailing perception that “election periods and tension were not ending but increasing.”

The same representative added that the country needed normalization. Many are voicing that foreign investors are concerned about the fact that instability is continuing in the bureaucracy amid incompetence and a lack of merit in appointments.