Local cities race to land domestic car project
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.