Erdoğan business ally says Turkey tired of elections

Nihat Özdemir, a close business ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, called for measures to lift the country’s economy, saying people were now tired of election after election.

Turkey has a very important 4 to 4.5 year-period before the next elections are scheduled, said Özdemir, who owns construction and tourism firm Limak, according to Cumhuriyet newspaper.

Özdemir’s words echoed those of Erdoğan, who said on Tuesday that the government planned to implement reforms until the next scheduled elections in 2023, the country’s centenary year. Limak has won a slew of government tenders during Erdoğan’s time as prime minister then president, turning it into one of the country’s largest firms.

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won mayoral elections for Istanbul on Sunday, meaning they now hold that office in Turkey’s three largest cities, which also include Izmir and Ankara. Istanbul represents about one-third of the country’s economic output.

Özdemir, who was recently elected head of Turkey’s national soccer federation, said the cement industry, which Limak entered early last decade by winning privatisation tenders, had been particularly hard hit by a downturn in Turkey’s economy and construction industry.
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