Istanbul mayor seeks to bond with investors on London charm offensive

By Yoruk Bahceli and Karin Strohecker LONDON (Reuters) - Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, a political opponent of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, said on Thursday he was on a mission in London to allay investor concerns over negative headlines about Turkey and predicted its economic woes were temporary. Turkey's relationship with Western allies has soured over a raft of issues in recent months

Reuters November 15, 2019 00:07:13 IST
Istanbul mayor seeks to bond with investors on London charm offensive

Istanbul mayor seeks to bond with investors on London charm offensive

By Yoruk Bahceli and Karin Strohecker

LONDON (Reuters) - Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, a political opponent of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, said on Thursday he was on a mission in London to allay investor concerns over negative headlines about Turkey and predicted its economic woes were temporary.

Turkey's relationship with Western allies has soured over a raft of issues in recent months. They widely condemned Ankara's military push into Syria, while Turkey's purchase of a Russian missile defence system raised hackles with its NATO partners, and could trigger sanctions from Washington - potentially hammering its already fragile economy.

"We are here to ease any problematic perspectives that will form in peoples' minds given some current questions," Imamoglu told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of his London visit where he is expected to meet with major investment firms from Goldman Sachs to JPMorgan and BlackRock to Blackstone.

"Today we are speaking of an [economic] slowdown, and it is true that foreign policy has had an effect. We have to think that all of this is temporary," said the mayor of Istanbul, home to one-fifth of Turkey's 82 million people.

Turkey has seen its currency weaken for seven straight years and relies heavily on foreign investor flows. The mayor's London visit came with Istanbul in talks to borrow in international markets to finance ongoing rail projects.

Imamoglu was elected Istanbul’s mayor in June after a re-run vote that shocked Erdogan and his ruling AK Party, which with its predecessors had run Turkey's largest city for decades.

Imamoglu is seen by some as a contender for president under his opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), and he has toured European capitals to meet his mayoral counterparts, investors and Turks abroad.

In Berlin he chatted with German Chancellor Merkel at celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. His trip to Paris earned him a 86-million-euro loan deal from the French Development Agency for the Istanbul metro.

Asked if his visit was part of an effort to clear the path for his entry into national politics, Imamoglu said his immediate focus was "governing Istanbul and serving Istanbul". However, he also predicted that political change was on the cards.

"Change includes a lot of things and of course this includes a change of government. The current spirit in Istanbul has emerged with the administration changing there."

Speaking about the Syrian refugee crisis, Imamoglu said most countries were focused on their own interests while Turkey needed help from European countries to deal with the situation.

"There are very high level problems with the way the world is looking at this process... These people should absolutely return to their homeland and at the end of the day the conditions for them to form their own lives should be ensured."

The EU relies on Ankara, which hosts more than 3.5 million refugees - many of them in Istanbul - to curb the arrival of migrants into Europe following a 2016 agreement to seal off the Aegean sea route.

(Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli and Karin Strohecker Writing by Karin Strohecker; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Intel seeks $10 billion in subsidies for European chip plant
News & Analysis

Intel seeks $10 billion in subsidies for European chip plant

By Douglas Busvine BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) -Intel wants 8 billion euros ($9.7 billion) in public subsidies towards building a semiconductor factory in Europe, its CEO was cited as saying on Friday, as the region seeks to reduce its reliance on imports amid a shortage of supplies. The pitch is the first time Pat Gelsinger has publicly put a figure on how much state aid he would want, as Intel pursues a multibillion-dollar drive to take on Asian rivals in contract manufacturing. "What we're asking from both the U.S

China's Ximalaya, Qiniu file for U.S. IPOs
News & Analysis

China's Ximalaya, Qiniu file for U.S. IPOs

(Reuters) -Ximalaya, backed by China's Tencent Holdings, filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States on Friday, cashing in on growing demand as more people tune in to podcasts while staying at home during the pandemic. China's Qiniu Ltd, a cloud-based platform-as-a-service provider backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, also filed paperwork for a U.S. IPO

Donerail pushes gaming headset maker Turtle Beach to explore a sale - sources
News & Analysis

Donerail pushes gaming headset maker Turtle Beach to explore a sale - sources

By Greg Roumeliotis (Reuters) - Donerail Group, an investment firm led by former activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP executive Will Wyatt, has amassed a stake in Turtle Beach Corp and is pushing the maker of gaming headsets to explore a sale, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. The move represents a bet that Turtle Beach could attract acquisition interest from peers such as Corsair Gaming Inc and GN Store Nord A/S, as the video game market continues to benefit from people looking for entertainment options at home during the COVID-19 pandemic