With Sunday's rerun polls for Istanbul mayor left behind smoothly and democratically, the Turkish people and the business world are now drawing attention to the immediate economic issues that need to be tackled and resolved. Given President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's busy schedule for economic diplomacy as of next week and a set of economic reforms, the economy will become the talk of the country in the upcoming period.
Having congratulated Ekrem İmamoğlu for his victory in Istanbul's rerun mayoral election, businesspeople in their recent statements underlined that Turkey's real agenda should be the economy from now on.
"With the rerun of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality on June 23, we left behind another election process that was indispensable for our democracy. We went to the polls, fulfilling our civic duty," Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) Chairman Nail Olpak said, hoping the results of the election, which was rerun with high participation and no irregularities, is beneficial for Istanbul. "As the business world, we see the coming period as crucial for our nation in general and for our economy in particular."
Ayşem Sargın, the chair of the International Investors Association (YASED), said with the mayoral election, the last step of the local election process in Turkey was completed. "As of today, our focus should be to welcome the 100th year of our country with a strong economy," she continued. "To this end, we must continue to work together to accelerate the reforms in the economy, business and investment environment in the coming period and to increase the competitiveness of our country."
In a recent statement released on its official website, the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) congratulated both candidates and expressed its hope that the mayoral elections will be beneficial for Turkey, stressing that an important democratic test was left behind. "The success of Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey with its economic and social accumulation as well as its historical and cultural heritage, is the success of Turkey. We hope that the government, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, academia and all other stakeholders will work in harmony and cooperation for the management and development priorities of Istanbul, which represents one-third of the country's economy." Young Businessmen Association of Turkey (TÜGİAD) Chairman Anıl Alirıza Şohoğlu said: "With this election, we hope that we will work hard every day for the upcoming no-election period of four years and achieve good economic results. Now it is time to focus on the economy and reforms with all our energy unity and solidarity."
Turkish lira, stocks rally as Istanbul elections left behind
The Turkish lira opened higher against the U.S. dollar after a repeat election for mayor in Istanbul ended months of uncertainty with an opposition win in the country's largest city.
The dollar traded at 5.717 lira yesteray, up nearly 2 percent, hours after Nation Alliance candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu of the Republican People's Party (CHP) was victorious in Istanbul.
The benchmark index of Turkey's stock exchange Borsa Istanbul (BIST) also rallied 2.15 percent or 2,017.22 points to open at 96,039.50 points.
On Friday, Borsa Istanbul's BIST 100 index fell 0.14 percent to close the week at 94,022.28 points with a daily trading volume of TL 5.84 billion. Last week, the benchmark index posted a 3.56 percent hike. At the beginning of this year, the BIST 100 hovered around 89,000 points.
As Turkey now enters a four-year stretch without elections, the government plans to focus on economic and security problems while pushing through structural reforms.