Turkey's top business organization sues government-controlled trade body
TÜSİAD head Cansen Başaran. AA PhotoTurkey’s top business organization TÜSİAD has sued the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), once an arm of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) but recently put under the control and surveillance of the Economy Ministry, to opt out from membership in the organization and to not pay membership fees.
TÜSİAD filed a lawsuit to resign from DEİK membership, as reported by weekly business and economy magazine Ekonomist in its March 15 issue.
“Our aim is not to corrode the legitimacy of the DEİK, but we do not find it right to be a part of a public institution as the members of an NGO,” said TÜSİAD sources familiar with the matter to the magazine.
DEİK head Ömer Cihat Vardan confirmed the opening of the lawsuit to the Council of State.
“We have learned of the opening of the case. We have no problem with TÜSİAD… The TÜSİAD members told me the lawsuit was opened in line with an ordinary decision made during the term of the former president Haluk Dinçer.”
Dinçer had also been the head of the DEİK / Turkish-American Business Council before the new regulation came into effect.
DEİK was put under the control and surveillance of the Economy Ministry as part of an omnibus law approved in parliament on Sept. 10, 2014.
A regulation that exposes the new working scheme and management structure of the body was published in the Official Gazette on Sept. 20, 2014, drawing reactions from jurists and the business world.
According to the regulation, the economy minister was endowed with the extensive authorities to select and remove the DEİK chairman as well as determine the founding institutions.
The Chairman of the TOBB, Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, resigned from the board of DEİK in late September, 2014. The former chairman of the pro-government Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD), Ömer Cihad Vardan, was then appointed to the executive committee in Hisarcıklıoğlu’s place by the Economy Ministry.
In accordance with the new regulation, TÜSİAD needs to transfer some 1 percent of its annual revenue to DEİK with four other main organizations.