Law and justice necessary for economic development, says Turkey’s top business group

“In order to secure economic growth in Turkey, the justice system needs to be improved in the country,” said Tuncay Ozilhan, the president of the High Advisory Council of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD).

In his speech at Turkey’s top business organization’s high advisory council meeting in Istanbul, Ozilhan said “the transition from the parliamentary system to the presidential system is not yet complete. The institutional structure of the presidential system was not established. It seems political tension will continue as the Istanbul municipal election has been canceled.”

Ozilhan specifically highlighted that democracy, the independence of the judiciary, freedom of expression and the living together (as Turkish society is highly polarised) are very important factors for economic achievement as the country faces a grave economic crisis. He complained that Turkey had 14 elections since 2007 and spent its energy and time as the elections always dominated current affairs, thus the country couldn’t focus on economic development and democratic achievements.

“Reserves are shrinking, consumer purchasing power is declining, Turkish citizens are fleeing from the Turkish Lira, Turkey is losing blood in globally competitive markets. The country ranks 121 in the inflation list and is placed 111 in the list of the independence of the judiciary, placed 109 in seeking justice in the judiciary, and 129 in press freedom,”

Ozilhan shared Turkey’s bad statistics and warned that the country has to turn back to democracy and the rule of law.

The TUSIAD leader also mentioned that attacking the main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu at a funeral, has increased political tension in the country but thankfully Turkish citizens have stayed calm.

Ozilhan said besides Turkey’s foreign policy issues, global problems are also affecting Turkey economy negatively.

“The Turkish Lira is sharply weakening as Ankara has tense international relations. The weak currency causes high production costs. Manufacturer and investors are rethinking whether they produce and invest in Turkey and many companies have declared bankruptcy,” Ozilhan painted the bleak picture as he warned politicians that if a country is not economically independent, it also cannot be strong in other areas and trust is a most important factor in the economy.

Turkey’s rate of unemployment reached 14.7 percent in February, the highest level since March 2009, and the Lira lost over 40 percent of its value since last August as the country fell into its first recession in a decade.

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