Top business organization underlines importance of close transatlantic ties between Turkey, US
Tolga Tanış - WASHINGTONThe head of Turkey’s top business organization has given strong signals about Turkey’s commitment to democratic values in a speech at the Brookings Institute during a three-day visit to the U.S., underlining strong transatlantic ties between the two countries.
“We hope that this long-term partnership has been strong enough in resisting to any derailing,” said the president of the Business and Industry Association of Turkey (TÜSİAD), Cansen-Başaran-Symes.
A senior TÜSİAD delegation visited the U.S. on April 12-14 to meet leading political and economic figures.
Başaran-Symes made a speech at the Brookings Institute in a session titled “Turkey, Its Region and International Order.”
“Following the global economic crisis, the Western world has started to face various hurdles, which might destroy the foundations of the liberal democratic rule. The economic inequalities have undermined the social cohesion in the western societies, triggering populism, radicalism and political polarization. Turkey has also faced the same problems under the shadow of some unresolved historic political conflicts,” she said.
She noted there were two main pillars of Turkey’s strategic orientation: The membership process to the European Union and its NATO membership and strategic relations with the U.S.
“Turkey needs to accelerate its political and technical reforms in its negotiations with the EU and reshape its foreign policy in line with the values of the transatlantic union. This perspective needs to continue in line with the membership to the EU rather than an open-ended and uncertain economic cooperation perspective.
Besides, Turkey’s transatlantic position should not be reduced to a strategic military partnership within the NATO. We believe that the ties between the U.S. and Turkey must be based on common values rather than common interests,” she said.
Başaran-Symes noted these common values were liberal and plural democratic values based on the rule of law and secularism principles.
“The separation of powers, check and balance mechanisms, independent courts, a strong civil society, the freedom of expression, the right of assembly, the freedom of enterprise and all other basic freedoms are the parts of these political values,” she said.
She noted Turkey has remained a part of the transatlantic system in terms of its democratic targets and strategic alliance.
“To be sure, the Turkish business world and the TÜSİAD will remain to be a loyal supporter of this stance,” she added.