Turkish businessmen to ask Erdoğan for delays to loan, tax repayments

Turkey’s businessmen will ask President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to delay the repayment of loans secured from state-run banks ahead of a conference planned for Wednesday, Dünya newspaper reported.

Company owners and directors will also ask the government to push back the payment of sales taxes and allow firms to pay their arrears in installments, Dünya said on Tuesday.

The businessmen will make the proposals in a report they will compile collectively ahead of the conference organised by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB). The event will be held via video link with Erdoğan and members of his economic team, the newspaper said.

The loans from state-run banks had been granted earlier this year with no requirement to repay capital and interest for six months. Those payments are now coming due.

The businessmen will also ask the government for help to reduce the cost of financing of their operations and to deal with loan repayment difficulties, according to Dünya.

The government should also revisit plans that prevent companies from laying off workers, the newspaper said.

Industrialists are also seeking lower energy costs, a more predictable exchange rate and more protection for local products against foreign competition. The government should also reconsider taxes that have been placed on imported goods and materials that are not produced in Turkey, they said, according to Dünya.

Firms in the service industry want the government to ensure that the public sector does not act as a competitor to private companies. Commissions charged by banks on payments received by customers via credit cards should also be reduced, the companies said, according to Dünya.