Business leader says Turkey 'being condemned to poverty'
The chairperson of Alarko Holding's executive committee, Ishak Alaton, said last week "the current administration has condemned Turkey to a lifestyle of poverty."
Alaton said that foreign investments this year would be less than in 1999 because of the worrisome signals coming from Ankara. Anatolia news agency said the businessman was speaking at a seminar on real estate marketing.
Alaton said: "Even the privatization of banks currently in the hands of the government is being prevented. State-owned banks continue to be the plaything of politicians. It is obvious that a number of irregularities will take place when the way for the arbitrary use of these banks' funds is opened.
"We are also losing our enthusiasm for privatization. We saw finally that the privatization of Telecom was being rejected through chauvinistic arguments like 'Turkey is not a colony.' Billions of dollars worth of Turkish assets cannot be opened to foreign markets, condemning the country to an impoverished life."
Noting that while Turkey was seen as safe country until a few years ago the situation had changed dramatically today, Alaton pointed out that foreign investments were at the point of coming to a total halt.
He said: "The amount of foreign investment last year was $11 billion in Poland and $37 billion in China. Turkey could not even attract one billion dollars and had to make do with the grotesquely low amount of 700 million.
Since Turkey is regarded as an unsafe country, the entire economy including the real property sector is endangered. The sector stands on its feet only through its own efforts. "Turkish banks also find themselves in a dilemma in that they are not sure whether to channel limited resources to the economy, industrial development or real estate."
Alaton noted that immovable property was very expensive in Turkey and said "the sale of land usually takes place through illegal means in Turkey and this is why it is very expensive. The bureaucracy requires you to have about 264 signatures before you start a construction project.
It is not possible to embark on a legal construction project under the current conditions in Turkey." Alaton pointed out that business headquarters would lose their significance through the developments in the informatics sector, which would encourage people to combine their homes and work places. Alaton said that one reason for the troubles in the real estate sector was inert investments. – (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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