TÜrkonfed Call For Social Consensus Before Elections (1)

TÜRKONFED | Call for Social Consensus Before Elections

TÜRKONFED organized the fourth meeting of the “100th Year Gatherings” in Hakkari to share its “New Era New Horizons” vision document and “Our Dream Turkey” manifesto, which were previously shared with the public, local governments, academia, civil society, and the business world in various regions of Anatolia. Süleyman Sönmez, the President of TÜRKONFED Board of Directors, stated that “As we open the door to the second century of our Republic, we can only build a bright future with great social consensus. Every voice, every color, and every thought is our greatest wealth.”

On April 27, 2023, TÜRKONFED, the largest independent business organization in Turkey, which has come together based on the principle of volunteerism, held the event in Hakkari, covering the provinces within the responsibility areas of the 26 regional federations that cover 81 provinces to explain their “New Era New Horizons” vision document and “Our Dream Turkey” manifesto. The event, held with the contributions of the Eastern Industry and Business Federation (DOĞUSİFED), brought together TÜRKONFED delegation and various stakeholders such as public institutions, local governments, academia, civil society, and business organizations.

Süleyman Sönmez stated that “the extremist statements weaken the common will for living together.”

TÜRKONFED President Sönmez commented on the atmosphere created by the elections, which is one of the hottest topics on Turkey’s agenda, stating that “Acts of violence against our political parties, the marginalization of politicians based on their identity and sect, and extreme rhetoric targeting the beliefs, values, and traditions of our society weaken our collective will to coexist, while making our social resistance extremely fragile against global and regional risks. Moreover, as poverty deepens and spreads on one hand, on the other hand, the confinement to identities, political and cultural polarization, the decline of faith in the rule of law, the increase in discrimination and hate speech, our relationship with reality is distorted. As TÜRKONFED, we believe that every voice, every color, and every thought is our greatest wealth. As the Republic of Turkey opens the door to its second century, we believe that we can only build a bright future through a great social consensus.”

TÜRKONFED Call for Social Consensus Before Elections (2)

“We must be a country that adopts high democratic standards.”

Sönmez, who said “Democracy is not about the majority taking power in elections held every four or five years,” continued, “Constitutional basic rights must always be respected. A liberal constitution that understands the values of the Republic and supports economic growth by providing a safety net for those in need, reducing poverty and inequality, and promoting social mobility will help. An advanced democracy and legal system are essential parts of the recipe to turn Turkey into a prosperous society by ensuring a fair, transparent, accountable, and merit-based government. Therefore, the foundation of our Dream Turkey is justice. If we want to increase the welfare level and gross national product of our country and spread our development goals to the grassroots, we must be a country that embraces the rule of law and high democratic standards, not a country of “average democracy.”

“We are evolving towards a society that consumes without producing.”

Drawing attention to brain drain, Sönmez stated, “While retail sales, which have increased three times more than industrial production, are experiencing growth, we are evolving towards a society that consumes without producing. In the last three years, approximately 300,000 of our young people, 12,000 of our academics, and our valuable qualified workforce have sought their dreams abroad. As a country, we feel the pressure of this brain drain in every field. In order to plan for a better future, we must develop inclusive, scientific, and creative policies that focus on environmental, social, and individual well-being.”

“Our country’s leap forward is possible through the development of Hakkari.”

Sönmez also reminded that Hakkari is among the most affected cities by the inter-regional development disparity problem, stating, “This disparity is not only an economic phenomenon, contrary to common belief. It also includes political, cultural, and sociological dimensions. We must continue to work until every region of our beautiful country has equal opportunities, facilities, and accessibility, from Edirne to Hakkari. Together, we must write a new century’s story where every citizen receives an equal share from our national income and common wealth. Witnessing equal income distribution among regions will help our country overcome the middle-income trap. The productivity, added value, and high-tech leap of our country are possible with the economic, social, and cultural development of Hakkari.”

Consultations were held with the public sector, NGOs, academia, and the business world.

TÜRKONFED President Süleyman Sönmez and Board Members Suat Çiftçi, Nasır Duyan, Selahattin Balkan, along with DOĞUSİFED President Müslüm Erbay and Board Members Sevda Keskin (HAKGİDER President), Berrin Uçar (VADSİAD President), Muhammet Altay, Veli Kaya (President of Hakkari SİAD), Kadri Salaz (President of VANGİAD), Muazzez Çağlar, Özlem Atay (HAKGİDER Board Members), Rukiye Erol (HAKGİDER Board Member), and Mehmet Salih Çiftçi (Vice President of the Eastern Miners Association), as part of the 100th Anniversary Meetings, held a series of meetings.

The TÜRKONFED delegation, consisting of the above members, met with Hakkari Governor İdris Akbıyık, Hakkari Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Servet Taş, and Yüksekova Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Salih Özdemir. During the meeting, they shared TÜRKONFED’s vision of “Our Turkey in Our Dreams” and discussed mutual cooperation processes and agenda evaluation. TÜRKONFED President Sönmez also held a meeting with the DOĞUSİFED Board of Directors to exchange views and listen to their new period activities.

To access the TÜRKONFED New Era New Horizons Vision Document, please click here.

About TURKONFED:

TÜRKONFED is an organization that includes more than 60,000 companies under its umbrella through 30 federations and over 300 national and international associations. Its members represent approximately 83% of total (excluding energy) foreign trade and around 55% of registered employment in agriculture and non-public sectors. TÜRKONFED members are located in various regions across Turkey, including Istanbul, Western Anatolia, Marmara, Inner Anatolia, Thrace, Western Black Sea, Central Black Sea, Northern Anatolia, Eastern Black Sea, Southern Aegean, Eastern Marmara, Western Mediterranean, Eastern Mediterranean, Southern Marmara, Cukurova, Northern Marmara, Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia, Southeastern, Zafer, Ipekyolu, Kapadokya, Mevlana, East, Serhat, Dicle, and Fırat Industrialists and Businessmen Federations, as well as the Sectoral Associations Federation, Fashion and Ready-to-Wear Federation, and Construction Products Manufacturers Federation. TÜRKONFED is a member of SMEunited, the umbrella organization for European SMEs, representing 12 million companies and 55 million employees.


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