PKK should leave guns and peace talks should be revived: Top business organization

PKK should leave guns and peace talks should be revived: Top business organization

PKK should leave guns and peace talks should be revived: Top business organization

CİHAN photo

Turkey’s top business organization has underlined the overriding need for social peace, calling on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to abandon arms amid a return to peace talks.

The head of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), Cansen Başaran-Symes, said the terror problem should not be allowed to destroy the peaceful coexistence of the Turkish people, voicing her hopes about the revival of peaceful days again. 

“The ongoing conflicts should be stopped immediately, the PKK should lay down its arms and peaceful resolution process should be revived again through the opening of political channels,” she said at the 46th Ordinary General Meeting of the association on Feb. 11. 

The head of TÜSİAD’s High Advisory Council, Tuncay Özilhan, also underlined the importance of measures that will strengthen social cohesion and togetherness in his speech at the meeting, calling for the end of terror and violence. 

“If we divide each other, we cannot fight with problems,” he said, noting that a new constitution should be designed to accelerate Turkey’s accession to the European Union. 

Başaran-Symes noted that the whole world had entered 2016 with rising uncertainties in economic terms.
“We have been in the eighth year since the latest global crisis first erupted, but we cannot say the worst has been left behind. The global economy has contracted by 30 percent since the crisis,” she said, addressing the fragilities of the Turkish economy. 

“Turkey has been suffering from lower foreign demand as it is an open economy. We have repeatedly said the country needs to grow in higher terms so as to maintain and strengthen social cohesion. Turkey, as a country which has yet to complete its process of industrialization, should grow above 5 percent to keep the unemployment rate at the same level at least. It is, however, not easy to reach the saving rates which are needed to reach these growth rates as we have not seen a rise in investments, and our current account deficit is still at alarming levels despite the oil plunge,” Başaran-Symes said.

She said two points were of great importance for the country’s top business association. 

“First of all, we cannot show tolerance to any minor discourse or tendency that will hurt macroeconomic stability … Second, we are happy with seeing the government’s determinedness in fulfilling reforms, but want to see the realization of them immediately,” she said. 

Başaran-Symes noted that the global economic crisis had started to hit many liberties and democratic values, adding that it would be harder to overcome the economic crisis unless the world stuck to a democratic track.
“I want to talk about Turkey here. The confidence in the judicial system is very low, but any economic success cannot be maintained in a country where the independence of courts and the confidence in courts has weakened and the rule of law is not predictable,” she said. 

She also noted that intolerance toward freedom of expression and freedom of thought must be overcome.

TÜSİAD members all voiced their deep sorrow at the untimely passing of Mustafa Koç, president of the Board of Directors of Koç Holding on Jan. 21, in a heart attack. The Feb. 11 meeting was the first TÜSİAD Ordinary General Meeting since his death. Koç was the head of the High Advisory Council of TÜSİAD between 2005 and 2010. He was also the honorary president of the High Advisory Board of TÜSİAD.