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Daylight Savings Time might harm Turkey's trade relations

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

Along with the implementation of Daylight Savings Time (DST) throughout the whole year, Turkey's time difference with the West will increase during winter. Hours that conflict with most of the countries will be minimized, but completely disconnected with some. The Turkish business world thinks the said decision will bring more losses than alleged gains. The issue will be submitted to the government in detail.

Energy Ministry's ongoing demand regarding the continuation of DST year-round has been finally put into effect by making the timing system implemented since 1973 permanent. Clocks across the country will not be turned back one hour on Oct. 30, following the majority of the world. It was reported that thanks to this implementation, Turkey will save more energy by utilizing the daylight more, totaling the amount of energy saved to TL 2.5 billion.

According to news by Dünya, the new implementation is not that simple since most sectors work in collaboration with foreign companies. A majority of businesses in Turkey from exporters to financial market are in close contact with their international partners and customers during most of their working hours. Since Turkey's economic relations are predominantly conducted with the West, the time differences with the Western countries are of vital importance. Along with the permanent DST implementation, time difference with Europe will rise 2-3 hours in winter. When it is 9 a.m. in London, Turkey will be having a lunch break. The hours that conflict between the two countries will drop 2-3 hours. Turkey will be almost completely disconnected with the United States. When it is 5pm in Turkey, the eastern part of the U.S. will just be starting their working hours. There is a much bigger difference with the West.

The new implementation will mostly affect the financial markets. While Turkish financial markets' working hours with London are getting shorter, Istanbul will be almost closed when the New York market opens. Bankers recalled that Borsa Istanbul's session hours were changed in order for the foreign investors to run more transactions, and stressed that now the time difference with London will rise to three hours and with New York, it will go up to nine hours, during six months of the year. Pointing out that DTS means six months of summer and six months of winter for markets, bankers said while the investors in London used to catch our markets at 11 a.m., they will start keeping up at 12 p.m. from now on and New York will be able to keep up with Turkish markets as of 5:30 p.m. Even the analysts waiting for 9 p.m. for the Fed meeting will follow the statement at 10 p.m. and have a press conference at 10:30 p.m. In comparison, the working hours with the East will increase; however, Eastern investors are not Turkey's active players, according to bankers.

The harshest criticism on this issue came from Istanbul Apparel Exporters Association (İHKİB) President Hikmet Tanrıverdi who has been speaking out since the beginning about the damage this implementation will cause to the sector. Upon the decision, which was made despite all the criticisms, Tanrıverdi said: "Continuation of Daylight Savings Time will harm Turkey's trade and image." Noting that almost 75 percent of apparel export is conducted with EU countries, Tanrıverdi said with this implementation, time difference will rise to three hours with Britain and two with various countries such as Germany, Spain and France by opening the incompatibility scissors of working hours wider. Stating that they have not been able to meet the energy and economy ministers due to their intense schedule, Tanrıverdi said they will notify the relevant parties in detail for the amendment of this decision.

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