Urging renewed focus on the reform agenda .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ANKARA - The Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association, or TÜSİAD, called for cooperation against the global financial crisis Friday, noting it was not correct to look at global matters from a narrow perspective, referring implicitly to the upcoming local elections in March.

"The traditional means of the market is not sufficient to overcome the crisis we are facing. Other countries’ various packages of measures show the current situation requires developing a common sense approach," said Arzuhan Doğan Yalçındağ, chairwoman of the board of TÜSİAD.

"Approaches involving threats or accusations cannot be tolerated. The current stage the crisis has reached requires a cooperative model to follow the impacts of the measures," she said, as TÜSİAD Higher Consultation Council, or YİK, held its last meeting of 2008 in Ankara.

Yalçındağ said one part of the solution should be to make no concessions from long-term priorities. "We must revive relations with the European Union," she said. "Reforms brought forward by the membership process are also necessary to enhance our global competitive power."

Three key issues
TÜSİAD YİK Chairperson Mustafa Koç said the country would face a high level of tension in 2009 over three issues: the economy, politics and terror, and said the escalation of tension should not be allowed. "In the upcoming year an excessive meaning should not be attributed to local elections. We must press ahead with democratic reforms. It will be significant to revive relations with the EU," he said.

Taking the floor, President Abdullah Gül said government, the business world and unions needed to cooperate to overcome the crisis. The president also indicated the reform agenda would be revived following a budgetary discussion in Parliament.

"There are close to 30 bills pending in the General Assembly," he said. "All will pass speedily after budgetary discussions. That is the impression I have."