State of emergency no hurdle for business in Turkey: Erdoğan
ISTANBULThe state of emergency that was declared in Turkey in the aftermath of the failed July 2016 coup is no hurdle for business, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said May 18 amid concerns from top business figures.
“The idea that the state of emergency is preventing the current activities of our businessmen is a non-starter,” Erdoğan said at the High Advisory Council (YİK) meeting of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) in Istanbul. “The state of emergency right now is a step taken to make all works in Turkey be conducted in a much healthier way,” he added.
“We cannot remove the state of emergency unless peace is restored,” he said.
Earlier, YİK head Tuncay Özilhan called for an end to the state of emergency for the country’s aspiration to improve its freedom and plurality.
“I want to stress the importance of removing the state of emergency, [as well as the importance of] the freedom and impartiality of the judiciary, reforms in election laws, [meritocracy] in governance, freedom of expression and freedom of the press in order for Turkey to improve in a spirit of social freedom and plurality,” Özilhan said.
TÜSİAD head Erol Bilecik also criticized the emergency rule in the country.
“For 10 months, we have been living in a state of emergency that we hope will not be extended,” Bilecik said.
“After the referendum, we entered a period in which the executive will be strengthened in governance.
However, powerful states are structures in which different organs balance themselves by not gathering power in a single place. This is the condition for a powerful state. The legislative, judiciary, bureaucracy, independent media, business world and civil society should also gain strength while the executive becomes stronger,” Bilecik said.
“When we look at the current state of the Middle East, we very well embrace the fact that the founders of the republic chose a secular state structure with a high vision,” Bilecik said, adding that developments in the region and Syria were affecting Turkey’s position and politics.
‘Turkey preparing for leap in democracy, economy’
Separately, Erdoğan said the country was preparing for a new period of progress in both democratic and economic terms in the aftermath of a tough period.
“Nothing will be conducted in Turkey the way it used to be, particularly as it was during the problems we faced in recent years. We are preparing for a new leap in democracy and the economy. We have pretty much built the infrastructure that we need for the construction of a powerful and prosperous Turkey. Our entrepreneurs who are producing, pursuing innovation and creating employment will be the most acknowledged people of the new era,” Erdoğan said.
He said the country had gone through a series of attacks in recent years but that the worst days were now behind the country.
“Be sure of the fact that the worst is over. God willing, there is a bright future in front of Turkey that stands on its feet despite so many attacks. The April 16 [referendum] is over and we have immediately begun searching for foreign markets again,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan also noted that the country had to create 1 million new jobs every year and that the annual growth rate should not dip below 6 percent.
The president also pointed to the necessity of having brands recognized around the world.
Erdoğan said it was not easy to divert entrepreneurs to investment in an environment in which the rates were so high.