TURKEY

Business figures seek speedy end to Turkey-Germany row

BUSINESS FIGURES SEEK SPEEDY END TO TURKEY-GERMANY ROW

Turkish businesspeople in Germany have voiced concerns to Anadolu Agency over recent tension between Berlin and Ankara, demanding a speedy recovery in relations.

"We do not want any further deterioration between Turkey and Germany," Orhan Bilen, a board member of the North Rhine-Westphalia branch of the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD), said in an interview earlier this week.

Bilen said no one could overlook how the countries' historic trade relations had reached "very serious numbers".

According to recent figures, the trade volume between the countries hit $35 billion in 2016. Germany remains Turkey's number-one export partner and number-two import partner.

The businessman said the normalization of political ties was "very important" for Turkish people who live in Germany.

"I want German politicians to give up their stubbornness, [and] I also expect it to be done in Turkey if it has to be done," Bilen urged.

Bilen also claimed there is an increasing number of Turkish businesspeople who wish to invest in Germany.

Another Turkish businessman working in the import sector in Cologne, Mehmet Canbaz, told Anadolu Agency German politicians seeking to increase their votes in upcoming elections had chosen to ruin ties with Turkey.

"It is not a right policy," Canbaz said, adding that some German politicians were using Turkey as a tool in domestic politics.

"The problem between the two countries is making us businesspeople worried. There is pressure on us right now. This is reflected in the trade we did with the Germans.

"We should not interrupt our business, and explain the issues in a calm way," he said.

Amid recent political tensions between Germany and Turkey, Berlin last week unveiled several economic measures intended to increase pressure on Ankara as well as urging its citizens to exercise caution when traveling to Turkey.

On Thursday, a delegation of German businesspeople is expected to meet Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım in Ankara for talks.

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