Turkey’s TOKİ to help Iraqi Kurdistan to establish a housing administration 27.1.2013

Hurriyet Daily News – 28.1.2013 – ANKARA,— Analysts from Turkish Housing Administration is to lead establishment of a similar structure in autonomous Kurdistan region in Iraq’s north, the visiting Iraqi industry minister says.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq seeks to establish an administration similar to the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ), said KRG Industry and Trade Minister Sinan Çelebi during his meeting with Turkish Technology Minister Nihat Ergün in Ankara on Jan. 24. Çelebi stated that Turkey was their role model in every field, pointing out that they would examine the structure of TOKİ in order to have a similar institution within the KRG and they have already advanced in the process, according to Anatolia news agency.

The KRG has even gone so far as to seek TOKİ analysts to lead the formation of a similar administration, in accordance with an agreement between the Turkish government and the KRG, as daily Milliyet reported. TOKİ experts will travel to the region to examine means of establishing a Kurdish TOKİ by applying regulations from Turkey’s TOKİ, the report said. Çelebi also said they would conduct research on organized industrial zones in Turkey for building the manufacturing facilities, adding that they realized the poverty of the country after the Saddam regime collapsed. On the other hand, Turkish professionals will be charged with providing technical support to the construction of industrial zones in the KRG, said Milliyet’s report. The KRG would also support Turkish entrepreneurs that might make tourism investments in Sulaimaniyah province.

Çelebi stated that Turkish construction firms have taken a large part in northern Iraq’s restructuration, adding that they would like to see more Turkish businessmen in the region. Furthermore, Ergün said there were opportunities to transform the region of northern Iraq into a place of richness and peace after several problems. Turkish firms’ investments in the region currently reach more than $700 million, said Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan on Jan. 23. Turkey’s exports to Iraq were worth around $11 billion last year, the second highest figure after Germany. Imports from Iraq amounted to $2.7 billion, representing an 18 percent increase in the first 11 months of 2012.