Turkish economy succeeded in hardest stress test possible: TOBB head
AA photoThe Turkish economy has succeeded in overcoming the hardest stress test possible, the head of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), the country’s leading business organization, said in an address at a regional economy meeting in neighboring Iran on Aug. 16.
“On the one hand we have continued hosting 3 million Syrian refuges while on the other hand we have been struggling against the PKK and ISIL,” said TOBB chairman Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, referring to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“The coup attempt on July 15 came on top of all this. But still the Turkish economy has not experienced any negativity. It has passed the hardest stress test that the world can face. Our economy has overcome the coup attempt and is even getting stronger,” Hisarcıklıoğlu added.
He was speaking at an executive board meeting of the 10-country Economic Cooperation Organization’s (ECO).
The forces behind the coup attempt aim at destabilizing the region and blocking economic growth and development, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, calling for “rapid economic enrichment” as a response to such a plot.
Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are the members of ECO, the Eurasian political and economic intergovernmental organization founded in 1985 in Tehran. Turkey, Iran and Pakistan are the leaders and founders of the group, while the other members joined after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.
The groups’ secretariat and cultural department are located in Tehran, its economic bureau is in Turkey and its scientific bureau is in Pakistan.
Some 3.5 million people, or around half of the world population, live in countries that are members or neighbors of the ECO, Hisarcıklıoğlu noted.
“We have this extremely fertile soil. We have a large human capital and historic richness. However, despite all these advantages, our share in the world trade stands at a mere 2 percent,” he added.
The TOBB chair also said Turkey does not ask for visas from citizens of any ECO members, but only a few these countries grant visa-free travel to Turkish citizens.
“We should put an end to this wrongdoing. Brothers do not visit each other’s homes with visas,” Hisarcıklıoğlu added.