President meets labor unions, business groups
ANKARAPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s meetings on Sept. 9 displayed commitment to his pledge to act as a “running, sweating president,” as he met with influential groups from a wide section of Turkish society.
Erdoğan’s first guest on Sept. 9 was Gökhan Çetinsaya, the president of the Higher Education Board (YÖK), before he had further meetings with a labor and business delegation.
Unlike his predecessors, Erdoğan chose to host representatives of labor and business together instead of as separate groups from the labor and business sectors.
The delegation was composed of the heads of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB), Turkey’s Tradesmen and Artisans’ Confederation (TESK), the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Türk-İş), the Turkish Industrial and Business Association (TÜSİAD), the Anatolian Tiger Businessmen’s Association (ASKON), the Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TÜRKONFED), the Turkish Travel Agencies Union (TURSAB), the All Industrialist and Businessmen’s Association (TÜMSİAD), the Turkish Confederation of Employers’ Unions (TİSK), the Confederation of Public Servants’ Trade Unions (Memur-Sen), the Turkish Public Workers’ Labor Union (Kamu-Sen), the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) and the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD).
While in his office as prime minister, Erdoğan showed a close interest in the economy portfolio involving business and labor world.
In the run up to the presidential election on Aug. 10, when he became the first ever Turkish president to be directly elected in a popular vote, Erdoğan also made clear that he intended to play a more active role than the traditionally largely ceremonial role.
“The responsibilities will be different after these elections. It will not be a president of protocol, but one that sweats, runs around, and works hard,” he said.
After formally taking office on Aug. 28, the president paid official visits to Turkish Cyprus and Azerbaijan, in line with the country’s state customs. He didn’t return home from those consecutive visits which took place in early September, as he moved to the U.K. where he represented Turkey at a key NATO summit.
While in Wales for the NATO summit, Erdoğan held bilateral talks with leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.