As Libyan upheaval escalates, Turkish firms asses damage
Turkey's biggest companies continue to evacuate workers from Libya, while State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan called construction firms for an urgent meeting today. The head of the Association of Turkish Building Material Producers says Turkish firms have taken considerable losses in Libya, adding that Turkey can't afford to lose this lucrative market. As companies continue to pull workers out of Libya, an association of Turkish construction firms said it is extremely worried about the lives of employees and possible financial losses. Building giant Akfen Holding announced it is evacuating employees from two airport terminal projects in Libya. In a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE), Akfen said its unit TAV Construction has a 25 percent share in a contract to build a new terminal at the Tripoli Airport. The company has a 50 percent share in another contract for Sebha Airport. Meanwhile, Caglayan said he would meet today with Turkish construction companies that have stakes in Libya. Turkish firms currently have ongoing construction projects worth $15 billion in Libya. Istanbul Chamber of Commerce head Murat Yalcintas said he hopes for a rapid normalization of the situation in Libya. He said the situation in Egypt may harm Turkish businesses, but in Libya the question is about lives. "This is a transformation," he added. "This is about demands for democratization. I hope these fraternal nations complete their democratic transformation as quickly as possible."