Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), stated that they signed the agreement for the joint arbitration center between Palestine and Israel in Eastern Jerusalem, and said, "They elected me as its president.” In the name of the Turkish business world, we had our signature under a useful effort”


Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

​“We signed the agreement for the joint arbitration center between Palestine and Israel in Eastern Jerusalem.”

28.03.2013 / Ankara

Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), stated that they signed the agreement for the joint arbitration center between Palestine and Israel in Eastern Jerusalem, and said, "They elected me as its president.” In the name of the Turkish business world, we had our signature under a useful effort”


In his speech at the Ordinary Assembly Meeting of Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO), Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that he was elected as the president of the Arbitration Center which will resolve the disputes between Palestinian and Israeli businessmen. 

Drawing the attention to the fact that the disputes between Palestinian and Israeli businessmen were referred to Israeli courts before the establishment of the Arbitration Center, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that it was not then possible for Palestinian businessmen to win a lawsuit before the court.   

Hisarcıklıoğlu said the commercial disputes would be resolved by the Arbitration Center where both sides are represented in equal numbers. 

- Turkish Commercial Code

Stating that they held meetings lasting about 30 hours with Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minister regarding the amendments to be made in the Turkish Commercial Code, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, "Had the Turkish Commercial Code been introduced in its initial version on July 1, a merchant or an industrialist would not close his store without visiting the prison throughout his business life.”

Expressing that they were disturbed about the rise in dishonoured cheques, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that the disturbance would fall with the new arrangement, and they would be able to see all cheques, paid or unpaid.  Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Just as the banks are able to have information about their customers, all our companies, I hope, in a week from now, will know to whom they sell their goods, in other words, they will sell their goods not in a foggy day, but a sunny day. “

Hisarcıklıoğlu said the spouse consent requirement sought from businessmen when taking a loan from a bank would be cancelled with the “omnibus bill" to be introduced in near future, and thanked Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan on behalf of businessmen for all those developments.   

- Deputy Prime Minister Babacan

Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan stated that they would be concerned about growth if consumption expenditure were dominantly based on loans taken from banks, and said, "First we will produce, then we will consume.   First we will deserve  and earn, and then spend."

Babacan said that there would be nothing to fear of when the government takes the right steps and business world has the dynamism.

Telling that 6-7 months ago they were hosted by a family who were the shareholders virtually of all big companies of Sweden, Babacan stated that he provided the managers of those companies about the steps taken by Turkey.    Telling that a manager had said, “We lost something important in Europe, which is excitement, spirit, entrepreneurship…. When we look back to the generations before us, things were different, and the present generation lacks it. But when we look at Turkey, we see that excitement, which is above anything”, Babacan said that it was that excitement that brought Turkey to this position.  

Drawing the attention to the fact that employment increased by 4.7 million in the last 3 years, and the contribution of the State to that number was only 200 thousand, Babacan said, “Because this is the net increase in employment.   The share of the State in this 4.7 million net increase is about 200 thousand.  In three years we contributed to the net increase by 200 thousand person, and 4.5 million were contributed by the Turkish private sector.” 

Ali Babacan said the Turkish private sector achieved that success owing to the confidence in the country. 

-“We will first produce, then consume''

Mentioning that the people had a positive view of the future, and continued their daily lives and  shopping, Babacan said:  “But we have a drawback, which is that: of course people will meet their daily needs, but if consumption expenditure were dominantly based on loans taken from banks, we will be concerned about growth originating from such expenditure.   We will first produce, then consume. First we will deserve  and earn, and then spend. Of course, people will use loans.  If our banking system offers loans for production and growth stems from it, there is no problem in that. If our banks offer loans for export, there is no problem in that, too, we support it to the end.   If the loan is for an investment, we support it till the end.  If a citizen buys a house, he or she buys something, an asset.  I mean, the money does not evaporate.  He or she owns an asset in return. We agree with it, but any expenditure that is based on the use of loans.. In that case, we need to act in a measured way.”

-“Healthy growth occurs in an environment of confidence”

Pointing out that unlike the present situation in Turkey, fear reigned in many countries and the environment of confidence was completely shaken, Babacan said, “Whatever they do, it’s no use, people are scared and avoid spending, whatever incentives they offer.   2009, 2010... They cut the taxes, distributed gift cheques, and many other things. All the incentives they gave increased the debt, but did not drive growth” Babacan said that healthy growth occurred in an environment of confidence. 

-“We solve the spouse consent problem with the new code.”

Babacan said that there were very important developments in Turkey in the last 1 year, particularly in terms of reforms, and they had to amend about 80 articles in the Turkish Commercial Code.   

Telling that an amendment was made in the Code of Obligations, Babacan said:  “The problems in the Code of Obligations were relatively lesser. We changed 7-8 articles, and finally, we resolved the spouse consent problem which is presently negotiated in the Parliament.   As you know, our Civil Code considers wife and husband as partners  in terms of property under certain conditions.  If the property of the family are in common, then the code says if one of the spouses will be a surety for another person, the other spouse should be informed of that.  In my opinion, the essence of the matter is correct, and the logic is right.  Because we witness several family tragedies.   If a man owns his own company, or is a shareholder of his company, or it is his own business, then the consent of his spouse will not be sought.   If there is a surety which is related to a company owned by him, this is where the most of the problems stem from. Then such consent will not be required.  Therefore, we solve this problem with the new code.

In addition, you know that there are craftsman guarantee cooperatives.  There is a cooperative structure there and everybody acts as a guarantor of the other. Sometimes groups of four or five are formed.   Therefore, the risk is too low as there is a guarantee link.  We said spouse consent may not be sought in case of suretyships having such a structure. The first two sections were completed in the General Assembly yesterday. Today the other two sections will be completed and will be enacted by midnight, I hope.    We hope that this problem has been solved.”

“Ankara is now a real industrial city.

Saying that as a men of business he monitored ATO’s efforts and nice studies closely, Babacan told that Ankara Shopping Festival did not only make an impact in Turkey but also in the world.

Stating that ATO would participate in a project contest organized by the World Chambers Federation as one of the finalists, Babacan wished success to ATO in the contest.

Babacan said that a fair area the preparations of which were continued in Akyurt under the supervision of ATO would confirm Ankara's position as a developed exhibition city, and stated that they carried out the necessary arrangements and the land property had been identified.   Stating that they used to meet a resource problem in implementing such projects in the past, Babacan drew the attention to the fact that resource was not a problem when the project was right. 

Saying that this year was the year of Turkey in an event in Cannes where the world real estate market gathered, Babacan told that the name of Turkey was written in capital letters at the entrance of the exhibition.  Babacan said, “We were pleased with the interest shown to Turkey at a time when the real estate market was in difficulty in many countries, and investors had to pay great amounts”. 

Telling that TOBB worked on an city-based entrepreneurship index in Turkey, Babacan stated that Ankara climbed to the first place in that study.  Babacan said ”Outsiders used to say that Ankara was only the capital, and had only ministerial offices and was just a city of officials.  The index shows us what kind of a city Ankara is now.  Ankara is now a real industrial city.  Ankara is an export city.  It has a population of about 5 million.  There are fewer countries in Europe with a population of 5 million.  Ankara is among the important cities of not only Turkey but also of Europe”.

- Credit Bureau of Turkey

Also talking about the Credit Bureau of Turkey, Babacan said that all citizens and companies cleaned up their bank relations, credit card, cheque and promissory note transactions since 2008.   Saying that all the data were available in the computer system thanks to the state-of-the-art data processing systems, Babacan said: 

“But, this information is at the same time constitute personal information and commercial secrets.  One of the suggestions we had received during these studies was that; ‘Let us disclose all’. We said, if all were disclosed, then there would be no banking secrets or commercial secrets.  What we have learned from our grandfathers and fathers is that trade is private.  If every information about everybody is disclosed, it would not be proper.   Do you plan to sell goods on a deferred payment basis, or  will you accept a cheque or a promissory note? The only records that were kept by our Central Bank until now were dishonoured cheques and protested promissory notes.   Only negative records were kept.  If a merchant’s cheques had only 3 cheques dishonoured in all his life, he would again be placed in the black list.   However, the new system covers dishonoured cheques.  Maybe he issued 3 cheques in all his life, and 3 were returned, or he drew 10 thousand cheques, and only 3 of then were returned, but 9 thousand 997 were paid.  There is a great difference.  All such information is now available.”

Telling that they first opened the system to individuals, Babacan said that individuals were now able to reach such information from a mobile phone or a computer with an internet connection.   Stating that they have resolved the authorization issue related to companies in cooperation with TOBB, Babacan said a company would be registered in the system if it filled in a form and submitted it to any chamber of TOBB.  

Saying he believed that the system would change the commercial life significantly, Babacan said, “Everybody will try to have a clean record.  In my opinion, the attempt to keep the credit record clean and its deterrence are much more effective than the penalty of imprisonment.  I hope we will understand this better as the years pass by.”

- Salih Bezci, President of Ankara Chamber of Commerce

Salih Bezci, President of Ankara Chamber of Commerce made the following assessment in relation to the increase of the credit rating of Turkey by the international rating agency Standard and Poor’s.   “We are pleased that Standard and Poor’s raised Turkey’s credit rating from BB to BB+.  With this rating we are still a level below the investment grade.   But, Turkey has long before deserved to the investment grade with its economic performance. 

Stating that Turkey has been the “Country of Honour” in MIPIM, one of the largest real estate exhibitions of the world, Bezci said that Turkey tent was set up for the first time in the exhibition.

Bezci emphasized that the “reciprocity law” which grants property acquisition rights in Turkey to foreigners was very valuable for Turkey in economic terms. 

Drawing the attention to the fact that the said law had rather a social consideration than an economic consideration, Bezci said, “Reciprocity is a law that will fuse again more than 50 states that were broke away the Ottoman Empire.”

Pointing out that a new era started for Turkey and the world, Bezci said that businessmen would assume more roles in this period of peace and stability, and they would preserve their attitude favoring justice and equality. 

Saying that they saw the present process as a process of rebuilding the future in line with Turkey’s targets, not as a process of fight or compromise, Bezci said, “In a country where stability and trust are restored, businessmen will be more courageous to make investments.”

Underscoring the fact that the economy of Ankara needed more projects and supports as the country economy did, Bezci said they would also this year organize  Shopping Festival organized every year. 

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