Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met together with prominent Turkish businessmen at a night summit on Monday and urged them to speak out against “unrealistic” economic plans and pledges made by opposition parties.
In the meeting requested by the businessmen, chairman of Turkey’s largest conglomerate Koç Holding Mustafa Koc, Turkish Business and Industry Association (TUSİAD) deputy chairman and Koc Holding board member Ali Koc, the chairwoman of leading private lender Akbank Suzan Sabancı Dincer, the chairman of Fiba Holding Husnu Ozyegin, the chairman of Yildiz Holding Murat Ulker, the chairman of Ciner Holding Turgay Ciner, and the chairman of Dogus Holding Ferit Sahenk were all present, according to a Fortune Turkey report.
Kibar Holding Chairman Ali Kibar hosted the meeting at his residence in Istanbul.
Davutoglu drew attention to “unrealistic” pledges made by opposition parties to raise the minimum wage and the living standards of retired people and said, “You, as the exporters of our country, have the full right to hear clear comments about minimum wages in terms of the rational economic context,” Hurriyet Daily News reported.
He said, “Minimum wages are determined by the business world, not by the Turkish government. If TUSIAD appreciates what Republican People's’ Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has offered for a minimum wage, they could announce their support and determine a new figure all together,” Fortune reported.
“The business world should be honest and need to speak clearly. If the minimum wage becomes 1,500 [Turkish] liras ($567), consider how many workplaces could be closed?” Davutoglu asked at the meeting.
Turkey’s current monthly minimum wage stands at 949 Turkish liras (TL) which is the equivalent of $358. The CHP has pledged to increase it to 1,500 TL, while Turkey’s third strongest Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has pledged to increase to 1,400 TL ($529), and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) to 1,800 TL ($680).
The bids to increase the minimum wage by Turkish opposition parties go up to 5,000 TL ($1,890).
Ali Koc, one of the top bosses at the meeting, has replied to the prime minister’s criticism by saying that they did not make any comment on the election pledges due to the election process.
Kemal Dervis, former World Bank vice-president and the top economist of the CHP, has recently praised the economic progress of the country under the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and was cautious of the CHP’s newly declared “megacity project.”
Dervis has also praised the management of the Turkish Central Bank, current Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey responsible for the economy in the AK Party cabinet Ali Babacan, and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek.