Lo­cal cities race to land do­mes­tic car project

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Business -

FOL­LOW­ING Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­doğan’s an­nounce­ment of the joint ven­ture group of Anadolu Group, BMC, Kıraça Hold­ing, Turk­cell and Zorlu Hold­ing that will man­u­fac­ture Turkey’s first fully do­mes­ti­cally pro­duced car, a num­ber of lo­cal mem­bers of Par­lia­ment have said that they want to es­tab­lish the fac­tory in their own cities and neigh­bor­ing prov­inces.

Dur­ing Par­lia­ment’s Plan­ning and Bud­get­ing Com­mit­tee’s ne­go­ti­a­tions for the Sci­ence, In­dus­try and Tech­nol­ogy Min­istry’s 2018 bud­get, some deputies talked about why the do­mes­tic car should be pro­duced in their elec­toral dis­tricts.

Na­tion­al­ist Move­ment Party (MHP) Mersin Deputy Baki Şimşek said five years be­fore his fa­ther was born, Turkey pro­duced its first air­craft in 1944. Şimşek said that the U.S. had gone to the moon be­fore he was born, in­di­cat­ing that de­spite ev­ery­thing, they would like to ex­press their sat­is­fac­tion that Turkey will be pro­duc­ing cars in 2019.

The deputy said projects based in Is­tan­bul and Mar­mara should be given up. In­stead, he said the planned fac­to­ries should be built in the Adana, Mersin, Niğde, Ak­saray and Kay­seri re­gions, which is a can­di­date to be­come the “sec­ond Mar­mara.”

He asked Sci­ence, In­dus­try and Tech­nol­ogy Min­is­ter Faruk Özlü to bring the is­sue to the Cab­i­net’s agenda.

Mean­while, Justice and De­vel­op­ment Party (AK Party) Erzu­rum Deputy İbrahim Ay­demir said Turkey is tak­ing a his­toric step for­ward with this do­mes­tic au­to­mo­bile.

“We want our re­gion to have a sig­na­ture on this break­through. There are prov­inces in our re­gion that have suf­fi­cient in­fra­struc­ture for do­mes­tic car pro­duc­tion, par­tic­u­larly Erzu­rum. For ex­am­ple, pro­duce the do­mes­tic car in Erzu­rum. This sit­u­a­tion will com­pletely re­duce the mi­gra­tion from the city to other prov­inces. We have faith in it,” Ay­demir said.

“At the same time, it will pre­vent the cap­i­tal mi­gra­tion in the re­gion,” he added, say­ing that eastern Ana­to­lia would be a re­gion pro­duc­ing added value to the econ­omy.

“If do­mes­tic car pro­duc­tion is not pos­si­ble at all, then pro­duc­tion points for any part should be es­tab­lished in our re­gion. We see this as a his­toric op­por­tu­nity to end mi­gra­tion from and ter­ror­ism in the re­gion,” he said.

AK Party Zongul­dak Deputy Faruk Çatur­oğlu also ex­pressed his wish for the Turkish-made car to be pro­duced in his province.

“Min­is­ter Özlü, in one of his state­ments on the is­sue, said they will race cities [for the pro­duc­tion of the car],” Çatur­oğlu re­called.

Çatur­oğlu also said Zongul­dak is ready and wor­thy of pro­duc­tion be­cause of its his­tory, cul­ture, knowl­edge and tech­nol­ogy ac­cu­mu­la­tion.

“The province has very well-or­ga­nized in­dus­trial zones since the city was the first in­dus­trial cap­i­tal of the Repub­lic,” he said. “It is also an im­por­tant event since it would save the Zongul­dak-Bartin-Karabük basin from be­ing de­pen­dent only on min­ing and it would di­ver­sify its in­dus­trial and eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties.”

More­over, man­u­fac­tur­ers in Ali­ağa, an in­dus­trial dis­trict in the western province of İzmir, have also voiced their in­ter­est in par­tak­ing in the pro­duc­tion of Turkey’s car. The chair­man of Ali­ağa Cham­ber of Com­merce, Ad­nan Saka, high­lighted that the in­dus­try-in­ten­sive dis­trict, which is home to ma­te­rial pro­duc­tion fac­to­ries and re­finer­ies, would be the right lo­ca­tion for the man­u­fac­ture of the do­mes­tic car.

“If the firms in the joint ven­ture will need the man­u­fac­ture of spare parts, Ali­ağa is the ap­pro­pri­ate place for the es­tab­lish­ment of a fac­tory given its lo­ca­tion and ports,” Saka said.

The pres­i­dent of Ege Univer­sity in İzmir also em­pha­sized the univer­sity’s will­ing­ness to con­trib­ute to the project af­ter his meet­ing with Sci­ence, In­dus­try and Tech­nol­ogy Min­is­ter Faruk Özlü.

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