Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's proposal to establish a TL Zone instead of joining the Euro zone has fast become one of the top items on the business world's agenda. Exporters and industrialists alike are supporting the proposal. Businessmen that say that the Turkish Lira has come out of the crisis empowered and becoming an important actor in global trade, say that if the proposal is realized then the wheels of exports will begin rolling even faster. Prominent members of the business world point out that the Turkish Lira is no longer a fluctuating currency and is already being used for trade with neighboring nations and overwhelmingly say, "This is the right time for the TL zone."
TO REACH 20 BILLION DOLLARS
Members of the business world feel that the infrastructure for a TL zone is ready. Businessmen remind of the fact that Turkey is already doing business with Russia, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, China and Iran in local currency, which in turn has made the Turkish Lira even more acknowledged in the world.
Russia is the most active nation in which local currency is used in trade agreements. Over the past year alone, trade in local currency with Russia reached two billion TL. Turkey's neighboring nations Iraq and Syria have also begun to use the Turkish lira in daily commerce.
In 2002, 516.6 million dollars worth of TL was used in foreign trade. That figure had multiplied by 21.3 percent last year reaching 11.1billion dollars. That figure is anticipated to reach 20 billion dollars by the end of 2012.
What did the Prime Minister say?
While in Berlin, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had brought up the notion of establishing a TL zone by stating, "I know that there are some EU member nations that say, 'I am against the Euro and I do not want to be a part of the Euro zone.' For example Britain… They are quite pleased with their current situation. In fact they even say, 'You should stay away, in fact you can establish a TL-zone.' I said 'I m thinking the same thing'. When it comes to the monetary system, the EU needs to check itself."
We support the proposal…
Istanbul Exporters Union Chairman Zekeriya Mete: As exporters, we want Turkey to remain with the Turkish Lira and for it to become an important actor in exports. In addition, everyone who switched over to the euro has sunk. Right now the Euro has not only put a lot of nations in a difficult position, it is also not a logical vehicle for Turkey. We are able to strongly satisfy our needs with Turkish money. We support the TL zone idea all the way.
It will strengthen Turkey…
Zorlu Holding Executive Board Chairman Ahmet Nazif Zorlu: If this were to happen it would be wonderful for Turkey and would strengthen our economy. It would be beneficial for the TL to be a more viable currency once the inflation and the economy has settled. The TL is not as fluctuating a currency as it was in the past.
We stand behind trade with the TL…
Turkey Exporters Union Chairman Mehmet Büyükekşi: We have been in favor of strengthening the TL through trade for years now. That is because as exporters we have suffered due to the difference in currencies for years now and have lost out. Meanwhile, when it comes to trade with the TL, we already have certain agreements with Russia and Iran. The TL has become a valuable and reliable exchange currency especially for neighboring nations in the Middle East and North Africa. As you know in England, they stuck with the Pound. That is a model that we could follow ourselves.
The TL Zone will protect production power
Turkish Aviation Association University Rector Prof. Dr Ünsal Ban: We have conducted academic studies on this issue which show that if Turkey enters the EU it needs to remain with the TL until the nation's industry and economy has reached a good point. I believe that it would be best for Turkey to remain with the TL if it joins the EU. At present Turkey has a production capacity however the moment it enters the Euro zone it will lose it entirely. If Turkey does not want to lose its production power then it needs to hone in on the TL Zone project.