TÜSİAD calls on gov’t to end state of emergency

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Cansen Başaran-Symes

The Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSİAD) on Thursday urged the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to end a state of emergency (OHAL) that was declared on July 20 and to stop ruling the country by emergency rule decrees (KHK).

“Some OHAL practices negatively affect trade, especially in Anatolia. We want OHAL ended immediately and an end to ruling by KHKs,” said Cansen Başaran-Symes, TÜSİAD chairwoman, during a high consultation council meeting attended by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Wednesday.

Başaran-Symes also expressed concern about a debate on reinstating capital punishment in Turkey. In statements following a failed coup attempt on July 15, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he would approve bringing back the death penalty if Parliament approves it.

Regarding tension between the European Union and Ankara, TÜSİAD’s chairwoman said reactions by Ankara following a European Parliament vote for freezing negotiations with Turkey were emotional. “Emotional critics are not for the interest of our country. The growth targets of Turkey would be brought to a standstill,” she said.

About 70 companies were seized by the government over the last week as part of an ongoing witch-hunt against the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of masterminding the failed coup attempt on July 15.

In a related development, ECE Türkiye, a subsidiary of the Hamburg-based ECE, owned by the Otto family, was forced to cancel a management contract for a Turkish shopping mall after the Turkish government installed a trustee to run the company that owned the mall due to alleged links on the part of its management to the Gülen movement.

In its fight against the Gülen movement, as part of a massive purge, the Turkish government has been seizing the private property of individuals as a precautionary measure or directly taking over their companies for real or perceived links to the Gülen movement on charges of alleged terrorism.

On Nov. 8 Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli told reporters that a total of 527 companies had been transferred to the state since the coup attempt.

Among the large conglomerates that have been recently taken over by the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) are Koza-İpek Holding, Boydak Holding, Dumankaya Holding, Kaynak Holding and Naksan Holding.

Minister for Environment and Urbanization Mehmet Özhaseki said on Sept. 1 that some TL 12 billion (about $4 billion) in property had been transferred to the Treasury as part of an investigation into the movement.

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