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27.01.2014 12:04 News >> 'Traitors' Club' Welcomes New Members Every Day

'Traitors' Club' Welcomes New Members Every Day

Muharrem Yılmaz, president of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TÜSIAD), which is a leading Turkish business group, dubbed the “bosses' club,” made a statement on Thursday at the TÜSIAD General Assembly in Istanbul that reached the newspaper headlines the next day.In his statement,

Muharrem Yılmaz, president of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TÜSIAD), which is a leading Turkish business group, dubbed the “bosses' club,” made a statement on Thursday at the TÜSIAD General Assembly in Istanbul that reached the newspaper headlines the next day.
In his statement, Yılmaz warned the government that foreign investment will not be made in a country in which there is no respect for the rule of law, where legal codes conflict with European Union rules, public procurement laws have been amended dozens of times and companies are pressured through tax fines. Yılmaz expressed the concerns of business circles, saying Turkish businesspeople are uneasy about the controversial Supreme Board of Judges and Persecutors (HSYK) bill that will subordinate the judiciary to government control. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed Yılmaz for his remarks, accusing him of “treason” while speaking at a party rally in Ankara on Friday.

Taraf daily columnist Murat Belge chose the title “Treason” for his Sunday piece, referring to the prime minister's remark about the TÜSIAD president. Belge wrote: “A person who is the head of an association such as TÜSIAD can speak about it, if he sees an alarming situation on the country's path. 'Speaking up' is a task that is expected from him; he was chosen for this. Isn't there an alarming situation in the course of the country? Yes, there are, of every kind. … It is completely natural that a representative chosen by TÜSIAD is especially sensitive about economic issues.” Belge pointed out that the government cannot cope with the increasing value of the dollar against the Turkish lira on a daily basis, among other problems, and called an individual a traitor for making an extremely ordinary warning. “Why would saying 'foreign investors might stay away if it goes like this' make Muharrem Yılmaz a 'traitor'? If we are to use strong language such as 'treason,' which one is worse: warning that foreign investors might stay away or creating an environment in which investors will restrain themselves?” Belge continued.

According to the Bugün daily's Erhan Başyurt, treason is the basest act that a citizen can commit against his/her country, hence it is considered a crime in all countries of the world and it is out of the question for a perpetrator of this crime to be pardoned. Referring to the remarks made against Yılmaz by the prime minister, Başyurt wrote: “Such a severe accusation cannot be expressed without evidence and legal grounds. That is the reason why those making such an accusation without any proof are convicted of defamation by courts. However, this severe accusation has lately been made so often against anyone with an opposing stance, as if it were an ordinary word used in discussion. Now TÜSIAD, the biggest business organization, has joined those [accused of treason by the prime minister] after journalists, members of the judiciary and members of the Hizmet movement.”

GÜNAY HILAL AYGÜN (Cihan/Today's Zaman)



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