Aydin Sezer: "Turkish tourism industry is looking forward to news from Russia"
Starting July 1, Turkey will remove all restrictions on business activities introduced in the spring in connection with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The Vestnik Kavkaza talked with the economist Aydin Sezer about the results of the economic lockdown and the prospects for the business sector of the republic.
- What is the attitude towards lifting the latest restrictions on business in Turkey right now?
- Indeed, most of the restrictions have already been lifted, and the rest will be lifted from July 1. At the same time, Turkey is quite actively criticizing the government because of this, calling the abandonment of epidemiological restrictions premature. The decision to allow the operation of enterprises is fully understood: the Turkish economy is not strong enough to hold restrictions for a long time.
- Is it possible to predict a recession in the economy this year? Is there government support for the affected sectors of the economy?
- So far, it is impossible to predict the nature of the recession in the economy, because it is not only about the consequences of government decisions - the situation in international markets also has an impact. The state is currently trying to create incentives for each sector of the economy, primarily by suspending tax revenues, but at the same time, entrepreneurs complain that government measures are not enough. The main reason here is, of course, the lack of public resources.
- How will the tourism industry be restored in Turkey? What measures have the authorities taken to attract tourists?
- This is one of the most problematic sectors of our economy. In addition to the urgent need of the budget for tourism revenues, it is also about the fact that millions of people work in this sector. I believe this is the highest priority sector for government assistance.
The fact that Germany and some other Western countries have imposed travel restrictions on Turkey has negatively impacted our tourism industry. At present, a high-level meeting is planned in Germany, where the leaders of the Turkish ministries will try to lift travel bans.
We are also looking forward to receiving news from Russia about the possibility of tourist trips to Turkey. In general, here we are faced with the fact that the restoration of the tourism industry mainly depends on the decisions of foreign countries, and not on the measures we are taking.
- How did the pandemic affect property prices?
- Real estate prices are gradually falling, but so far this has not led to massive activity in buying and selling. From Europe there is still no stream of people wishing to acquire ownership of a house in Turkey. The government provides cheap loans to stimulate the domestic real estate market, but this has not yet had any effect.
- Is it expected that the Turkish authorities will re-introduce the regime of restrictions?
- Although now in Turkey more than 1000 cases of infection are registered per day on average, a significant reduction in mortality has been achieved. Discussions are still ongoing about the need for general quarantine, but for economic reasons this is no longer possible. Currently, the government believes that people at the current pandemic level will quickly form collective immunity.