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TUSIAD lobbying in Germany to restore confidence

Turkey's largest business group assures German partners on economic stability in country after July 15 coup attempt

Ayhan Şimşek   | 23.09.2016
TUSIAD lobbying in Germany to restore confidence  Cansen Basaran-Symes, chairwoman of Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD),


By Ayhan Simsek


Turkey's largest business group TUSIAD on Friday sought to assure German businessmen on the political and economic stability in the country following the July 15 coup attempt.

Cansen Basaran-Symes, chairwoman of the influential Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD), has said the defeated coup attempt led to confusion among German business partners, but their exchanges today in Berlin have offered a better picture of the situation.

“We are closely following the German media coverage and the negative atmosphere regarding Turkey since the July 15 coup attempt. Our aim with this visit has been to correct the wrong perceptions, by clearly telling what has really happened in Turkey. We have had very fruitful meetings,” she told a press conference.

While many European capitals condemned the coup attempt, the media focus quickly shifted to concerns over investigations into the incidents, and the political orientation of Turkey, as large number of suspects were arrested or suspended in state institutions.

Basaran-Symes emphasized that the coup attempt was a real threat against the democracy, and defeated after the Turkish people took to the streets and political leaders, NGOs, and business organizations demonstrated unity.

The July 15 coup attempt was organized by followers of U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen in the military and FETO, according to testimonies given by the suspects.

Turkey’s declaration of a three-month state of emergency in the aftermath of the events and seizure of assets belonging to several businessmen suspected of having links to the FETO have led to concerns among some foreign investors.

Basaran-Symes underlined that the measures so far had very limited effect on the business of big companies.

She said concerns expressed by some foreign investors on the investment climate in Turkey would likely to be addressed by expected measures towards further normalization in the country and by the realization of much-awaited reforms.

“I believe that we can address the remaining concerns on the investment climate by swiftly focusing on the reforms and by demonstrating our economic advantages,” she said.

The Turkish businesswoman also stressed the importance of reviving Turkey’s stalled EU membership talks, to facilitate positive developments in the country.

“We believe that Turkey’s EU process has become more important than any time before. During our meetings in Germany we have underlined the need for creating a positive agenda between the EU and Turkey again,” she said.

Basaran-Symes called on Germany to use its influence for reviving EU-Turkey ties, by opening chapters 23 and 24 in Turkey’s EU membership talks, which cover the reforms in the fields of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights.

The EU heavyweight Germany is Turkey’s main economic and trade partner. In 2015, the bilateral trade volume reached €36.8 billion. More than 6,500 German companies are currently active in Turkey.

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