PM Davutoğlu joins row with prominent business group

PM Davutoğlu joins row with prominent business group

PM Davutoğlu joins row with prominent business group

PM Davutoğlu will not attend the general assembly of country’s top business organization (TÜSİAD) after President Erdoğan reacts to the head of the organization. AA Photo

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will not attend the country’s top business organization’s general assembly on Jan. 22, 2015 due to the organization’s claims that their addressee was the prime minister and not the president, according to prime ministry news sources.

In an interview with daily Hürriyet on Dec. 29, TÜSİAD Chairman Haluk Dinçer had said the organization did not have any problems with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but that “TÜSİAD’s addressee is not the president, but rather the prime minister and the ministers related to our field,” while touching upon the current condition of relations with Erdoğan.

Davutoğlu’s reaction came after Erdoğan had previously reacted to Dinçer’s words by saying that if the presidential post was not the addressee of TÜSİAD, then he, as president, would not attend TÜSİAD’s meeting, adding that the association would need to find an addressee to attend the meetings, news sources had reported Erdoğan as saying on Dec. 29 at the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions’ (Türk-İş) meeting.

The relationship between Erdoğan and TÜSİAD, Turkey’s most influential business group, has always been thorny, but the President’s attendance at the organization’s High Consultation Council meeting on Sept. 18 was seen by many as possibly marking a thaw in their chilly relations.

It is yet to be seen how this row between Dinçer, Erdoğan and Davutoğlu will affect TÜSİAD’s relations with the president and the government.

“What needs to be understood is that it is not [important] who TÜSİAD takes as an addressee, but rather who takes TÜSİAD as an addressee,” said the news sources.

Dinçer had said TÜSIAD was against a regime change toward the presidential system, while he complained of the country’s poor judicial system.

“Our position regarding the speculation of the presidential system coming after the elections is extremely clear. We say the most suitable system for Turkey is a parliamentary system,” Dinçer said.

“We are of course against a Turkish-style presidential system,” he said. “A system is a whole, and we are worried that an understanding of ‘I will take the features that I like, and will not take the ones that I don’t’ could take Turkey backward from the point it is at right now,” he said.

The possibility of a regime change from a parliamentary to presidential system has been discussed in Turkey for years, as former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who became Turkey’s first elected president in the August elections, has made no secret that he favors the presidential system as a more efficient method of governing.

Speaking during the interview, Dinçer highlighted that his institution was not against the presidential system “categorically,” but favors a parliamentary system, seeing it as “more appropriate for Turkey’s constitutional tradition and political culture.”