German carmaker Volkswagen will delay investment of a factory it was planning to build in the Turkish province of Manisa due to the political uncertainty surrounding Turkey’s ongoing operation in northeastern Syria, according to a report in the German newspaper Handelsblaat.
The newspaper cited sources close to the company, and while a spokesperson for Volkswagen declined to provide a conclusive remark, they noted that they were following the situation with great concern.
“I don’t have any information regarding the decision to postpone but it is an understandable situation. Because the German public is very sensitive regarding topics concering Turkey, maybe moreso than necessary,” said Automotive Suppliers Association of Turkey (TAYSAD) President Alper Kanca, speaking to the daily Turkish newspaper Dünya.
Sources close to the Turkish government reportedly denied that there was any negative situation regarding the Volkswagen factory.
“In the German, British and American press, the image of a country at war is trying to be created. In this kind of situation it would be abnormal for a company that has already dealt with serious problems in the eyes of the public for the past several years to take a risk,” Kanca said.
The factory was slated to be built at a cost of 1.4 billion euros in Turkey’s Western province of Manisa, with construction to be finished by 2020 and production to begin in 2022. The plant was planned to have the capacity to produce 300,000 cars a year and was expected to have created four thousand jobs for the area.