Turkish businesses concerned over EU row: TÜSİAD
ISTANBULCompanies in Turkey are concerned about rising tensions between the Turkish government and the European Union, according to Cansen Başaran-Symes, chair of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD).
Turkey-EU relations are extremely important for businesses, Başaran-Symes said during an interview on private broadcaster CNN Türk on Nov. 18.
“I think the leaders of both sides will not go too far from this line. The demand of our business world is also in line with this. We are in very close contact with our members. I think this recent tension with the EU has made the business world very concerned. This concern has to be removed,” she added.
Tensions between Ankara and Brussels have risen with a recent war of words between both sides, with the EU voicing serious concern over Turkey’s digression from democracy and the Ankara government hitting back at the EU for misunderstanding the current situation following the July 15 coup attempt.
Most recently, senior EU lawmakers on Nov. 17 canceled a visit to Turkey after Ankara refused to see a member of the European Parliament after her criticisms at Ankara’s crackdown after the July 15 failed coup.
Kati Piri, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on Turkey, was part of a group of MEPs who were scheduled to visit Turkey after Turkish EU Minister Ömer Çelik paid a visit to the EU in Brussels. Elmar Brok, European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee chair, and Piri had been due to “hold high-level meetings with Turkish authorities and representatives of the opposition and civil society with a view to restore political dialogue,” an EU statement said.
However, the Turkish government did not want Piri to be part of the delegation visiting Turkey due to her recent remarks over the possibility of halting Turkey’s EU membership bid.
On Nov. 15, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he was ready to hold a referendum on whether to continue the membership talks and reiterated that he would restore the death penalty - a move sure to scupper the EU talks – if parliament passes such a law.
Meanwhile, speaking on CNN Türk, TÜSİAD head Başaran-Symes stressed that 5 percent growth was necessary for Turkey in order to keep the unemployment rate - currently exceeding 11 percent - at 8 percent.