Govt announces interest-free loans to cushion real sector from effects of crisis
At a press conference yesterday, Industry and Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan spoke about a new government loan program to protect Turkey's real sector and promote job growth at a time of global economic crisis. Caglayan said that the government would give zero interest, 12-month loans to craftsmen and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). He said that the Small and Medium Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB) will also extend financial support to small businesses with a further YTL 350 million in loans, in addition to other government support programs for small businesses. Through the loans, the government hopes to encourage small businesses to hire more employees. The government will loan YTL 2,000 for each new employee companies with at least nine employees hire, and YTL 100,000 to companies that recruit more than 47 employees, all in a bid to increase employment.
Speaking to his party's parliamentary group meeting yesterday, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal spoke on the issue of women wearing headscarves or chadors joining the party. Baykal said that anyone who respects the law can join the CHP, whatever their culture, religion, lifestyle, or garb. Baykal said that people who feel deceived by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are coming to the CHP. Touching on the ongoing Ergenekon case, Baykal said that many people are suffering due to the allegations, and also urged that the trial be shown live on TV.