Turkish Firms Suspend Egypt Operations

Cyprus-Star 23082013 299

Turkish firms suspend Egypt operations TURKISH-OWNED busınesses in Egypt have rushed to suspend operations in the troubled country as increasing violence fdlovving the military coup grips the Arab nation. "We decided to halt production in Egypt after the state of emergency was announced on Wednesday, to protect our staff," said Murat Ülker, chairman of Yıldız Holding, parent company of Ülker, Turkey's largest food company. Turkey has serious commercial İnvestments in Egypt. Representatives of the sector said other firms were likely to follou/ Yıldız and suspend production in the country. But halting production and dosing up shops is a temporary step until stability returns to the North African country, they add. In Egypt, 260 Turkish companies, mainly textile manufacturers, operate at the moment, having made direct investments last year of around $2 billion, according to data compiled by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEÎK). In the textile manufacturing sector, some leading Turkish brands have also decided to close down shops in Egypt. Abdullah Kiğılı, owner of Turkish ready-to-wear firm Kiğılı, stated that they dosed their store in Egypt on Friday. "In the short term, I personally do not think there will be progress [in this situation], so we suspended investments," added Kiğılı. The chairvvoman of Turkish readyto-wear firm Beymen, Elif Çapçı, also stated that on Friday their store in Cairo was dosed. "We have 80 employees in our [Cairo] store. There is a human tragedy and our priority is the safety of our staff, not our profit," said Çapçı. Turkish textile manufacturers that produce goods in Egypt for export may have to stop production if orders continue to fail, the head of the istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporter Associations (ITKIB) said. "The withdraıwal of Turkish investments from Egypt is not the case," Zuhal Mansfield, the DEÎK's Turkish-Egyptian Business Council chairvvoman, told Today's Zaman. Stating that firms' closures a re temporary, and after the achievement of stability İn Egypt investments will continue, she explained, "Egypt's main problem is not political but financial; they must employ 90 million people." Mansfield also pointed out that, "Turkish investors are there [in Egypt] not just for Turkey's interests but also for the Egyptian's benefit." The Turkish Ambassador to Egypt Hüseyin Avni Botsalı, on returning to İstanbul Atatürk Airport from Egypt, stated that there are many Turkishowned factories in Egypt, especially around Alexandria, and a significant number of Turkish managers work İn other foreign-owned companies there. "About half a million Egyptians, their families induded, make their living thanks to Turkish companies in Egypt," added Botsalı. After the military ousted the democratically elected govemment İn Egypt, many TuHish textile manufacturers based in and around İstanbul experienced problems in collecting their outstanding debts from Egypt due to the coup administration's strict restrictions m cash flow and other difficulties in delivery conditions. (CHA)