TODAY’S – Inspectors visit group after comments critical of gov’t

Inspectors visit group after comments critical of gov’tA group of government inspectors recently commenced audits at Turkeyand#39s largest association of business chambers following a statement criticizing inspections by the union earlier this month, sources have said.Five inspectors from the Ministry of Customs and Trade commenced inspections at the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) building in Ankara shortly after the unionand#39s chair, Rifat HisarcIklIoIlu, called on the government to stop intimidating businesses and unions with financial audits.

andldquoDo not intimidate businesspeople using financial audits as a tool. andhellip Just let us do what we know best, which is investment,andrdquo HisarcIklIoIlu had said on Dec.

1 in DiyarbakIr He also added, andldquoBusinessmen are not demanding any financial incentives from the government, but simply expect it to provide a favorable business climate.andrdquoHisarcIklIoIlu had lamented earlier in November that Turkey had made no headway in critical economic indexes over the past six years, criticizing the government for failing to introduce an effective reform package.

Observers say the inspections that followed these comments were an example of the governmentand#39s exploitation of inspections and red tape to put pressure on those who have views that are critical of the government.A TOBB member, who asked to remain anonymous, told Todayand#39s Zaman that the governmentand#39s use of inspections to punish those companies that are politically opposed to it did not serve to make the country a transparent place.

andldquoWe need justice and transparency before Turkish businesses can boost their productivity and compete in global markets,andrdquo the member said.Back in August of this year, the government put a leading TOBB foreign trade body branch practically under its control, appointing a new chairman and other key figures to the body.

Before this, the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) had been privately run since 1986.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman