Kurdish ‘peace’ to boost region’s economy: İşbank

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet – 18.4.2013 – Turkey’s peace process will lead economic growth in the southeast of the country, according to Adnan Bali, the general manager of İşbank, which is the largest local lender based on assets.

“Poverty has been like a destiny in the region during the 30-year conflict. Unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, is above Turkey’s average,” said Bali, speaking on private broadcaster SkyTürk360 yesterday.

He also stated that migration back to the region might begin again thanks to the peace process. “Gaziantep, Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van will become rising cities. The peace process might open the door to remigration. Those who are curious about the consequences when peace is established should see Arbil [the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq],” Bali said. He also signaled the providing of Kurdish-speaking staff in the southeastern provinces of the country, in line with the ongoing peace process. In response to a question about establishing a Kurdish call center in the southeast, Bali said İşbank served whatever the conditions required. “We eyed the same criteria for our branches opened in northern Iraq [in Arbil],” he added.