On Dec. 17, İstanbul and Ankara police staged dawn raids and detained as many as 52 people as part of a major investigation into claims of corruption and bribery. Among the detainees were bureaucrats, well-known businesspeople and the sons of three ministers.
In a statement released on Friday, the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSİAD) also advised the government to stay away from actions and statements that could hinder the investigation, calling for the preservation of judicial independence and the protection of individual rights.
At a press meeting held in İstanbul on Saturday, MÜSİAD President Nail Olpak said his organization is following the latest developments with deep concern considering the damage they will cause to the reliability and image of the country. He also underlined that MÜSİAD considers fair trials and respect for the law to be critical. Recalling important political events of the past year, Olpak stated: “We have been experiencing developments that have negatively affected the economy since the Gezi Park protests. The latest corruption probe is also creating an image that will damage the economy. I must underline that our foremost desire is the thorough examination of the allegations and to ensure the judicial process is not compromised while it remains under way.”
However, he also pointed out that it is important to refrain from making assumptions about the individuals detained and arrested in the probe or their families before the investigation is complete as it is important for the public to reserve judgment. “The main question in the public mind is how separate allegations in individual cases have been combined into the same investigation. The developments should not be shown as an intervention in politics as this would damage the economy at a time when we are entering an election period. Turkey has covered a great distance over the past decade in granting liberties. With reforms and political stability, it has become a regional leader and grown economically despite the slowdown in European economies,” he explained.
Olpak concluded his speech by noting that the dollar exchange rate has broken a record by reaching TL 2.09 and that national benchmark bond yields have grown to 9.6 percent, hurting the economy by TL 8 billion. “We do not understand how an investigation that should be occurring under legal auspices is negatively affecting the economy by such large amount. It will not benefit anyone if an investigation that should only concern the authorities occupies the country’s agenda at the expense of attention on the next democratization package and the settlement process. We must embrace each other to keep the peace and focus on our vision for 2023.”
Association of the Young Businessmen of Ankara (ANGİAD) President Abdullah Değer said on Sunday that the businessmen of the country are concerned about the corruption and bribery investigation and its effects on the economy.
Değer emphasized that his association has been closely monitoring the situation, adding that it has become the biggest concern of businessmen because the developments have been negatively affecting the economy. Noting that the country’s economic stability is being shaken, Değer stated: “All of the allegations must be investigated thoroughly. However, they should not be allowed to destabilize the market by turning into a witch hunt as Turkey is one of the countries that attracting the most foreign investment and Turkish businessmen have great reputations overseas.”