Mar 25 2019

Erdoğan says Nike opening new factory in eastern Turkey

U.S. sportswear giant Nike is preparing to open a new factory in Turkey which will employ 5000 people, Turkish President Recep Erdoğan announced on Monday.

The factory is part of Nike’s plan to move it’s only production centre in the Middle East to Turkey, left-wing news site Gazete Duvar reported.

“We are going to make Ağrı the greatest base in our country. An international brand, Nike, is coming here to open a factory and it will provide employment for 5000,’’ Erdoğan said while speaking at a rally ahead of the March 31 local elections for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the eastern province of Ağrı.

The Turkish president vowed to support employment opportunities in the region, particularly the textile industry, while noting that infrastructure projects and other government investments were in the works to revive the lagging part of the country.

“We have brought Ağrı to a very good place with state-appointed administrators and now we will carry it even further,’’ the Turkish president said, in an apparent reference to Ankara’s replacement of municipalities in the country’s Kurdish-majority east and southeast with state-appointed administrators following the July 2016 coup attempt.

The Turkish government removed from office more than 80 of the 103 elected mayors representing the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as part of a crackdown on the pro-Kurdish party following the failed putsch. 

Turkey heads to the polls at the end of the month in what experts say is a referendum for the AKP, which has ruled the country for 17 years. Turkey's economy is in recession, with inflation just under 20 percent and unemployment at 13.5 percent.

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