Turkey, Economy

Investment in Turkey's southeast rises with solution process

Healthy solution process ensuring peace at the end would greatly contribute to economic stability, local businessmen say

06.03.2015
Investment in Turkey's southeast rises with solution process

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey

 Investment in Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeastern region has increased thanks to the safe and peaceful atmosphere resulting from the country's solution process. 

The Anadolu Agency has talked to the board chairmen of industry associations and investors in the region, who all agreed that a healthy solution process ensuring peace at the end would greatly contribute to economic stability.  

Aziz Ozkilic, chairman of the executive board of Diyarbakir Organized Industry Businessman Association, told The Anadolu Agency that a new industrial area should be built to meet the offers for investment in the region. 

He said Diyarbakir, as well as other provinces in the region, is a gate to the Middle East, and thus is drawing attention from the investors during the solution process. 

There are already two organized industrial zones in Diyarbakir province, one covering a 532-hectare area and another on a 2,000 hectare site. 

The solution process, a government initiative launched in 2013, aims to bring an end to the decades-old conflict with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which is listed by Turkey, U.S. and the European Union as a terrorist organization.

The government has offered incentives to eliminate the region's suffer from high unemployment rates with a number of people having emigrated from the region.

An investment package was announced in June 2012 in which investments Mardin, Batman, Sirnak and Siirt (defined as the sixth region in the Turkish incentive package).

The package includes payment by the State of insurance charges for 10 years.

Businesses will also be exempt from paying tax, which is normally imposed at rates of up to 50 percent of total investment.

Employers will only pay the net minimum wage for workers, with the state paying for insurance and extra charges.

Today, regional industry has reached a high level of capacity with much interest in investment in the region. 

Ekram Ozekinci, the chairman of the executive board of Mina Galvanizing Industry, began investing in the region last year.

Ozekinci said his aim was to become a model factory, increasing the investment in the region, and providing employment opportunities to hundreds. 

"Prior to the solution process, it was like bed of nails to invest in the region," he stressed. "But now, we have a professional team and offer our new employees from the region in-service training to increase quality."

The solution process appears to be one step closer to resolution after Abdullah Ocalan, PKK's imprisoned leader, called Feb. 28 for the disarmament of the group.

The call for laying down the arms gave hope to all, Ozkilic said.  

"It is high time for the industrialists to invest in the region; there is need for every sector," he insisted.

Ibrahim Batuk, director general of Akkus Textile Company in Mardin province, said there has been a remigration with the solution process. 

Those who migrated to Istanbul in the 1990s because of the conflict in the region have now started to return to their hometowns, Batuk told AA. 

His company is established on a 3,500 square meters area in the organized industrial zone and exports to 15 European countries. 

"We are planning to increase investment and employment in the upcoming period," he said. 

Nasir Duyan, head of the Mardin Industrialist Businessmen Association, also said there are quite a lot of offers from the investors and that the city's organized industrial zone is a hundred percent full. 

They are now about to establish a second zone for over 150 investors waiting for a proper area allocation. 

"The southeastern region, which was affected the most from terror, has the strongest wish for peace and solution in the region," Duyan said. 

Director of Organized Industrial Zone in Siirt province, Bahattin Celik, noted increasing employment and said only 75 people were working in the city's organized industrial zone before the solution process -- a number which is quite low compared with 175 workers in just one factory today. 

Officials from organized industrial zones in Batman, Bingol, and Sirnak provinces also pointed out that there have been hundreds of investors waiting to have a place in the zones for new factories. 

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
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