Turkey’s Eastern Provinces Gain $6 Billion in Investment

The eastern provinces in Turkey have managed to secure $6 billion in investment during the past four months, thanks to the government’s industrial incentives program, according to a report from the Science, Industry and Technology Ministry.

The government plan has divided the country into six regions, giving the least developed regions tax breaks and subsidies. This resulted in 1,066 new ventures in the eastern provinces which it is estimated will provide employment for around 30,000 people.

There have been a total of 1,749 new ventures under this government scheme since it was set up four months ago, and it is thought this number could easily be increased during the coming months. The government intends to expand the scheme even further into provinces such as Van, Batman, Mardin, Sanliurfa and Diyarbakir.

Officials are attributing this substantial growth due to the fact that the government promised to extend the period of special tax breaks and subsidies from five years to twelve. The government will now over the cost of worker’s social security payments for employers.

This decision reversed a previous unpopular move to link the amount of social security covered by the government to the amount invested by the company under this program.

The idea of this program is to help increase the stability of eastern provinces that are predominately Kurdish, especially as there have been recent fears that the conflict in these areas may be worsening. In addition the program should help reduce Turkey’s current account deficit, and will help lessen the regional differences between the east and west.

The province which gained the most in new investment was Diyarbakir, as 178 companies have pledged $424.3 million worth of investments.