World Bulletin/News Desk
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged leading businessmen confederations to invest in Turkey's east in order to take part in the settlement process, which is the government's fledgling initiative to settle the three-decade-old terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) problem.
Speaking at the 22nd general assembly meeting of the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MÜSİAD) on Saturday, Erdogan called on the country's large-scale business organizations to take responsibility in the settlement process and expressed that it is time for spring to fully arrive in the eastern provinces, which have suffered economically during the conflict. “Employers need to invest in the east and factories need to be opened, leading employment to increase, which would contribute to a permanent solution.”
The prime minister recalled that the Turkish economy must be reconstructed in order to reduce poverty and unemployment in the region, adding: “We are obligated to spread our duty of social responsibility to all those around the country with a more comprehensive, determined and warm approach. Social responsibility does not only mean offering scholarships to a couple of students or handing out food packages during the holy month of Ramadan. Instead, we need to focus on a broad perspective and direct our attention to fight poverty and unemployment as well as strengthen solidarity and sharing among society.”
Noting that the country has seen many businessmen who look after their own interests before the benefit of their own people, he explained: “By coming to power, it became clear how these businesses [that profited through illegal activities] became so successful. However, the emergence of good businessmen associations like MÜSİAD have prevented their circle from becoming stronger and reversed their actions.”
Erdogan stressed that the government will provide all the support it can for the investments that will be made in the east and said: “The most important of all is the incentive package. The investments made in the region are of major importance and businesses take a huge responsibility.” He said that in order for the settlement process to progress in a quick and sustainable manner, sincere efforts need to be pulled together by not only MÜSİAD but all nongovernmental organizations. “I have found that some MÜSİAD members have already visited the region looking for areas to invest in, which is very satisfying,” he stated, adding that the visits should take place more often.
MÜSİAD President Nail Olpak also stated in his speech that the settlement process means “breaking out of shackles” for a prosperous future, and that MÜSİAD fully supports the process. “We see the settlement process as a special opportunity to take responsibility, as it is the most important reform of the past decade. The process will speed up the country's economic development," he said.
Last Mod: 29 Nisan 2013, 11:04