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Consequences for Interrupting EU Process Would be Dire

Turkish business circles supported statements made by Turkish business tycoon Omer Sabanci and TUSIAD International Chairman Aldo Kaslowski’s call for everyone to do their duty to prevent an interruption in the EU accession process.

Zorlu Holding Board Chairman Ahmet Nazif Zorlu said a possible interruption, even if small, would destroy all the gains made by Turkey and Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) Chairman Rizanur Meral emphasized the most important factor that attracted foreign capital to Turkey was the positive course of the EU process.

Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MUSIAD) Chairman Omer Bolat pointed out the importance of stability for success in an environment of keen competition.

Expecting no negative development until the end of 2006, Kibar Holding Chairman Ali Kibar stated some institutions may display behaviors that would make people nervous.

Chairman of Economic Development Foundation (IKV) Davut Okutcu asked the government to continue its previous efforts for the EU membership and called the opposition to prioritize long-term interests.

Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) Chairman Can Paker criticized Article 301, which has spoiled Turkey’s image abroad and stressed that EU opponents and supporters should get used to each other.

Sabanci, in his statement in Zaman yesterday, pointed out some circles had the fear of adaptation concerning the talks with the European Union and said “Let us stop tripping up ourselves on this issue.”

Speaking to Zaman, TUSIAD International Chairman Aldo Kaslowski emphasized business circles wanted stability and some issues that had recently come to the agenda may damage the EU process.

Supporting the assessments of the ‘club of bosses,’ TUSKON Chairman Rizanur Meral pointed out the importance of having no interruption in the EU negotiation process for foreign investors.

Meral said that the increased in Turkey’s foreign investment from $1 billion to $10 billion showed confidence in Turkey in the negotiation process.

MUSIAD Chairman Omer Bolat stated while instability was the rule, it was the exception in Turkey. “People and institutions should make maximum efforts to keep stability.”

IKV Chairman Davut Okutcu pointed out the effect of the talks with the European Union on attracting foreign investments, and said, “An EU membership perspective makes for a stable economy and our political platform attractive.”

“Turkey’s most important need is stability, stability and stability,” Zorlu Holding Board Chairman Ahmet Nazif Zorlu said. “Foreign investors’ view of Turkey has changed a lot. This should be continued. A possible interruption, even if small, may make us lose our gains.”

Zorlu said all institutions should make all efforts to prevent a failure for Turkey in the EU accession process.

Sanko Holding Board Chairman Abdulkadir Konukoglu pointed out the success in the Turkish economy, criticizing those who created a negative atmosphere: “Why should there be tension in Turkey? There is no environment to cause tension.”

Konukoglu finds the current government’s four continuous years in power successful and thinks things are going better than they would under a coalition government.

“Events taking place in Turkey, messages given from time to time and the EU process, they all affect the economy,” Kibar Holding Chairman Ali Kibar said and emphasized the biggest wish of the business circles was to have minimum effect from this process and the preservation of stability.

Article 301 Open to Interpretation

European Union expert Can Baydarol thinks the source of the problem is “others determining the agenda.”

Baydarol gave the following warnings: “Issues concerning the EU process come to our mind when statements against Turkey are made. Then, everyone takes strange positions. We show reaction when others say something. Article 301 should not be left open to interpretation. You politicize the judiciary if you leave judges such a wide area of interpretation.”

ARI Movement Coordinator Haluk Onen stated the European Union has been off the agenda for along time and said, “Neither the government nor the society have the same enthusiasm they did on Dec. 17.”

TUSIAD has Taken Steps to Abolish Article 301.

In a letter to Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the “club of bosses” wanted the crime to be defined concretely at least.

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