Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reprimanded a top business association that criticized the re-run ruling by the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) regarding the Istanbul mayoral election, NTV news channel reported on Tuesday.
Late on Monday, Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) annulled the March 31 Istanbul mayoral election results and ordered that it be held again, at the request of Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Following the YSK decision, the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) released a statement on its official Twitter account, voicing criticism against the ruling.
“As we emphasized before the announcement of the final vote count of the March 31 local elections, resuming an election atmosphere is worrying in times when we need to focus on extensive economic and democratic reform agendas,” the TUSIAD’s statement reads.
Speaking on Tuesday at a parliamentary group meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Erdogan said some businessmen were making bizarre and weird statements following the YSK decision.
“Well, you are doing wrong. First of all, everybody should know one’s place. Everybody should do one’s job. Our attitude [towards TUSIAD] will change accordingly,” the president warned.
Erdogan said Turkey had suffered damages caused by “so-called elites” who saw themselves beyond the state, referring to the association.
“We will break the games of those who have done nothing to solve our nation’s problems,” Erdogan vowed.
At the same time, an advisor to Erdogan, Yigit Bulut, said in an article published in the pro-government daily Star, that TUSIAD – Turkey’s top business association – was involved in a plot to topple the democratically elected president.
Yigit claimed that TUSIAD was undermining Erdogan by using its financial clout and meeting with AKP officials instead of the president.
Founded in 1971, TUSIAD represents the Western-oriented, large-firm business elite whose members include the chief executives of Turkey’s 300 biggest corporations.
Whenever TUSIAD executives call on the ruling AKP, even amicably, to respect the rule of law, to push the European Union membership process, or to end an ongoing state of emergency, the association is subjected to Erdogan’s harsh rebuff.