‘Turkey spins wheels’ in economy, says President Erdoğan

‘Turkey spins wheels’ in economy, says President Erdoğan

Vahap Munyar – Aboard TUR
‘Turkey spins wheels’ in economy, says President Erdoğan

AA Photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey has been spinning its wheels in the economy for the past three years and the way out of this loop and to keep the system flowing with speed was to adopt the presidential system of government. 

“Maybe some people are not aware, but figures prove this. We have been in an economical wheel spinning for the past three years. Businessmen want to invest but the jurisdiction system blocks them,” said Erdoğan aboard the presidential airplane TUR on the way to Istanbul from Kazakhstan, where he held meetings with the country’s head, Nursultan Nazarbayev. 

Erdoğan said the per capita income had exceeded $10,000 but it has not been making any progress for the last three years as some people were putting chains on one’s wrists and thus forcing one to spin their wheels. 

“[A businessman] wants to invest but the jurisdiction blocks them. The investments are not small; they vary between 200 million and 500 million dollars. If there were no obstacles before them, the businessmen would have ‘rammed it through,’” said Erdoğan, giving Istanbul’s Salıpazarı Port Area project, commonly known as Galataport, as an example. 

“The tender for Galataport, for which an investment of around one billion dollars was at stake, was held two years ago. The project has not yet started. Why? Because the Council of State halted the execution of the project two years after the objection was made,” said Erdoğan, adding there were several examples of such situations.

Turkish company Doğuş Holding placed the highest offer for the privatization of Galataport with a $702 million bid in May 2013, winning the rights to operate the port area in Istanbul’s Karaköy neighborhood for 30 years.

Soon after the tender was awarded, the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) filed a lawsuit against the project, claiming the plans could not be adequately integrated into the district of Beyoğlu.  In October, the Council of State ruled to halt the execution of the project.

“We need to go forward without any obstacles and with full speed,” he said. 

Erdoğan has said that in the past that the business world in particular wished for “one party rule” for economic stability, but this was not enough nowadays and the solution to spinning wheels was the “presidential system,” a concept that he brought to the agenda of the country when he was the prime minister, even before being elected the 12th president of Turkey in August 2014. 

Erdoğan added that global investors who had the intention of investing in Turkey were also complainant of the jurisdiction and a comfortable environment for foreign direct investment (FDI) should be made possible.