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TUSIAD statement following meetings with Turkish political party leaders

The Board of Directors of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) met with the leaders of political parties in Ankara on June 16-17, 2015. During the meetings, the President of the Board of Directors Cansen Başaran-Symes urged party leaders to compromise and underscored the expectations and policy priorities of the business world. President Başaran-Symes said, “We expect continued persistence in seeking compromise and the establishment of a government as soon as possible.”

The full text of the statement is available below:

The Board of Directors of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) met with the leaders of political parties in Ankara on June 16-17, 2015. The President of the Board of Directors Cansen Başaran-Symes issued this statement following the visit:

“We thank the leaders of the political parties for accepting our request to meet during such a demanding week in Ankara.

We have observed a very high participation rate in the elections. Nearly 95 percent of the electorate will be represented in the incoming Parliament and this is a significant democratic achievement.

As we all know, the electorate has not designated a majority party to form a government. We expect continued persistence in seeking compromise and the establishment of a government as soon as possible.

As the Board of Directors of TÜSİAD, we have not expressed any preferences or offered any recommendations on the makeup of a coalition government. Rather, we have urged compromise and highlighted the policy priorities and expectations of the business world on the basis of participatory democracy. We are pleased that all political parties have a high understanding of responsibility and are committed to swiftly forming a new government.

As the business world, we expect the next government to take steps to raise the level of Turkey’s democracy, economy, and social standards.

As TÜSİAD, our top expectations of the new government are as follows:

On democratic standards and public administration:

  • Strengthening the judiciary based on the principles of independence and objectivity; and the full establishment of the rule of law.
  • Expanding basic rights and freedoms, including freedom of press, expression, assembly, and collective and cultural rights.
  • Amending the political party law and the electoral system, under which a 10% electoral threshold impedes just representation.
  • Enhancing the ethics and transparency in politics and public administration.
  • Pursuing the Resolution Process in order to ultimately prevent a return to violence and informing the public in a timely and transparent manner that is mindful of societal sensitivities.
  • Establishing the administrative independence of regulatory and supervisory institutions.

On development:

  • Increasing the quality of education.
  • Decreasing youth unemployment with education that develops complementary skills and encourages entrepreneurship.
  • Increasing women’s participation in the labor force, which is especially low.
  • Reducing regional development gaps by improving cross-regional business and investment opportunities.

On sustainable growth, competition and the investment climate:

  • Increasing transparency and effectiveness of tax policy to counter the informal economy.
  • Focusing on improving the investment environment.
  • Implementing an integrated industry strategy based on technology, innovation and productivity.
  • Focusing on the transformation to a digital economy.
  • Continuing structural reforms in energy and transportation.
  • Implementing regulations and providing financing in an effort to increase foresight in the fight against climate change.

Relevant to all policy areas stated above, the EU accession process remains a priority of TÜSİAD. We attach great importance to accelerating reforms for European Union membership and to opening negotiating chapters that have been blocked.

With the ultimate goal of full membership, we believe that steps should be taken to support the deepening of the Customs Union with the EU, so that Turkey can join the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and to support negotiations in Cyprus.”