ECONOMY

Turkey preparing firms law

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s government plans to enact a reform of company law and consider a package to boost employment after a long-delayed welfare reform is approved, Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan said yesterday. The pro-business Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has slowed down on reforms over the last two years and investors are concerned that a prosecutor’s attempt to close the party down for alleged anti-secular activity will stymie further change in Turkey, which began European Union accession talks in 2005. The Islamist-rooted AKP dominates parliament, which is due to start debating today a social security reform sought by the International Monetary Fund. With unemployment running at over 10 percent – and around 20 percent among young people – the Labor Ministry sought cabinet support earlier this month for reforms to cut the cost of employing people in order to boost job creation. Some investors are also concerned about the pace of privatization, particularly amid volatile global markets. «We will continue accelerating privatizations and EU negotiations,» Unakitan told a meeting of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce. Privatizations due this year include the sale of major highways and bridges as well as stakes in lender Halkbank and leading fixed-line operator Turk Telekom.