TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that they expect solidarity in Turkey’s time of change, “Turkey’s success will be the EU’s success. We need to work together. We must grow and be strong together. We must benefit from Turkey’s EU membership together. We must favor the prosperity of future generations over the coming elections.”​


Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

We must favor the prosperity of future generations over the upcoming elections

15.09.2011 / İstanbul

TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that they expect solidarity in Turkey’s time of change, “Turkey’s success will be the EU’s success. We need to work together. We must grow and be strong together. We must benefit from Turkey’s EU membership together. We must favor the prosperity of future generations over the coming elections.”​


Speaking at the 29th Turkey-EU Joint Consultation Committee Meeting, TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu reminded that two days prior, Turkey’s growth performance for the first quarter was announced, a growth of 8.8% this quarter and a growth of 7% since the crisis of 2009.

Stating that Turkey has recovered from the crisis rapidly and has overcome its effects with an 8.9% growth in 2010, Hisarcıklıoğlu reported that the growth performance continues in 2011.

Emphasizing that Turkey has enacted radical changes in economy and thought process beginning with the change and transformation move made by Turgut Özal at the beginning of the 1980’s, the TOBB President stated that Turkey’s choice to be a free market economy instead of a closed economy and society has reinforced its integration with the world economy.

Stating that Turkey and EU have displayed what can be accomplished with a political will, cooperation and a desire to design the future with solid steps and successes, Hisarcıklıoğlu said;

“After 2005, unfortunately, the change in leadership in the EU brought with it a lack of vision. As a result the negotiation process which had started with great effort, earnest commitment and determination has, today, come to an unfortunate standstill.

Negotiations on only 13 chapters have been opened. The rest of the chapters have become so bogged down so as not to allow any advance. Croatia, which started negotiations along with Turkey, is counting down the time to when it will join the EU, Turkey’s EU membership has been left uncertain.


-"Turkey continues its economic and political transformation"

Turkey continues its economic and political transformation. Turkey is a rising actor in the global sense. As a member of the G-20, Turkey is the world’s 16th and Europe’s 6th largest economy. Turkish construction companies are on the list of the largest construction companies, second only to those of China. With its cultural heritage and natural beauty, it is the 7th most preferred tourist destination in the world.”

Stating that Turkey has achieved the transition from a rural economy to that of an industrial state, the TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu said that the income per capita of 1980 which was 2063$ has increased to 14,741$ at the end of 2010 and the exports volume has increased from three billion dollars to 130 billion dollars.

Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Turkey has become an important focus in the emerging multi-centered system. Istanbul is the most important business center in our region as well as being a global diplomacy and culture center,” and went on;

“Istanbul is not alone in this change. East of Istanbul, in Anatolia, many cities have joined the transformation and have become centers of attraction where modern city life is thriving in addition to their industrial enterprises. In the process of such economic transformation Turkey preserves its determination to join the EU. We are aware of the EU negotiation process’ contribution to Turkey. We believe, wholeheartedly, that this contribution should continue.
On the other hand, the Turkish business community continues to support Turkey’s accession process despite the obstacles put in its way such as visas required for Turkish citizens by EU countries, transportation quotas and obstacles to import and export goods and wholly political reasons. Turkey’s future is seen in the EU. According to the results of a survey we recently conducted with the heads of chambers and exchanges, we still see about 80% support for Turkey’s EU membership.

Turkey will continue its economic, social and political change and transformation process with determination. The support for its social and economic aspects of the process is complete. In view of this, we will continue to take responsibility on social and economic matters, foremost regarding the formation of a new constitution, to continue contribute and to provide support.”

- TÜRK-İŞ President Kumlu

Turkey-EU Joint Consultation Committee Co-President and Türk-İş President Mustafa Kumlu stated that today, a meeting with powerful and influential members both Turkey and the EU was being conducted.

Kumlu expressed displeasure that the crisis, developments in the Middle East and North Africa and the upcoming elections in prominent European countries were causing Turkey-EU relations to be overshadowed.

“When the economic crisis and the Arabian Spring in the region are taken into account, the need for EU-Turkey relations and cooperation is more urgent than ever,” Kumlu said, and went on;

“In this regard, we hope that the interlocutors will address this issue posthaste and EU-Turkey relations will gather momentum in short order and take its place on the agenda. Additionally, as the Joint Consultation Committee, we have expressed our displeasure the 22nd of April regarding the standstill on EU-Turkey relations. Of course, Turkey should continue enacting reforms with gusto. However, the EU should also not lose track of the world at large while dealing with its own personal troubles and develop its relations in the region while encouraging Turkey to reform.”

Reporting that EU’s economic model enmeshed with social rights has been implemented successfully and that neighboring countries have been affected, Kumlu stated that due to economic crisis and pressures, the EU has been having a difficult time and forced to make compromises regarding social rights.

Mustafa Kumlu said that EU must not make compromises on social right and keep supporting the economic and social transformation process of countries.

Expressing that they did not expect Turkey to be treated any differently than the other countries which have joined the Union, Kumlu emphasized that the EU needs to purify itself of its political, religious and cultural prejudices and that the door not be closed granted the criteria were fulfilled.

Kumlu added that the victimization of Turkish citizens regarding visas needs to be addressed and that they anticipate cooperation on the issue.

- Europe Economic and Social Committee President Nilsson

In his speech, Europe Economic and Social Committee President Staffan Nilsson expressed that countries have come out of the crisis stronger and he expected the heads of state to make the right decisions and take responsibilities.

Touching on the process of change affecting the Arabian countries, Nilsson said, “We are yet to find out if these countries possess the correct will or if they are headed the right way yet. Turkey’s importance is magnified in this instance. You are a great example.”

Stating that the only solution in the Middle East was the peace process, Nilsson emphasized that both sides must want peace and there is no other alternative for a solution.

On Turkey’s accession process, Nilsson said, “I am completely for Turkey EU membership. I have no reservations.”

Attending the Meeting hosted by Turkish Co-President Mustafa Kumlu and European Union Co-President Arno Metzler were; TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, European Union Ministry Egemen Bağış, European Economic and Social Committee President Stefan Nilsson, TESK President Bendevi Palandöken, TİSK President Tuğrul Kudatgobilik, TZON President Şemsi Bayraktar, HAK-İŞ President Mahmut Arslan, Turkey KAMU-SEN President İsmail Koncuk and the members of the Turkey and European Union Joint Consultation Committee.

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