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Business representative: Turkish firms can’t get their money from government projects

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A business association chairman said on Monday that Turkish firms had not been paid by the government for project contracts they had signed, which eventually adds stress to the domestic economy.

Ayhan Zeytinoğlu, chairman of Turkey’s Economic Development Foundation (İKV) and co-chairman of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), told the Cumhuriyet daily that the government is in debt of around TL 100 billion (nearly $19 billion) to the domestic market.

The debt mostly stems from construction projects.

“The government should immediately repay its debts because we have observed that contractors are suffering,” Zeytinoğlu said.

Turkey has been in a recession for three or four months due to a currency crisis, high inflation and high interest rates, he added.

“We need to remember that the accession process to the European Union has had positive effects on Turkey’s development and democratization,” he said.

Turkey experienced a currency crisis last summer, with the Turkish lira in free fall against the US dollar, causing high inflation and a historic hike in interest rates.

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