TODAY’S – TuSIAD to withdraw from gov’t-controlled DEIK, stop payments

TuSIAD to withdraw from gov’t-controlled DEIK, stop paymentsThe Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen and Association (TuSIAD) has filed a suit with the Council of State in order to avoid paying 1 percent of its revenues to the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) and will withdraw from the management of the board.DEIK was placed under government control in an overnight decision last yearAccording to a report published by the Hurriyet daily on Monday, sources from the prestigious association told the Ekonomist weekly magazine: andldquoOur purpose is not to wear down DEIK.

Yet we, as [members of] an organization that carries out its activity on a voluntary basis, disapprove of serving under a public institution.andrdquoThe dailyand#39s report also quotes the recently elected head of DEIK, mer Cihan Vardan, who confirmed the lawsuit, saying, andldquoWe heard about the lawsuit some time laterandrdquoThe news, however, comes amid ongoing unease among business circles in Turkey over the state control of a nongovernmental foreign trade body, which had been successful for more than 28 years in improving trade ties with global markets, with a number of country-specific business councils under its roof.

An omnibus bill signed by the president on Sept. 11 of last year granted the government the authority to appoint a chairman and key figures to DEIK.

The bill also stipulated that the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), the Independent Industrialists and Businessmenand#39s Association (MuSIAD), the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), the Turkish Contractors Association (TMB) and TuSIAD each be represented by a member on the board of DEIK. The groups were also obliged to transfer 1 percent of their revenues to DEIK after the bill was passed.

Two weeks after the passage of the bill, TOBB Chairman Rifat HisarcIklIoIlu resigned from the board of directors of DEIK in an apparent reaction to the intervention. Former MuSIAD President mer Cihat Vardan was elected as the new chairman of the board.

Haluk Diner, then-president of the Turkish-American Business Council under DEIK, also boycotted the government takeover by not attending board meetings.Several other council presidents under DEIK publicly showed their discontent about the government intervention after the bill was passed.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman