Halit Gümüser, managing director of Kipas Holdings, the parent company of Kipas Textiles, has one message to the international community: Remember Turkey.
The world has no short supply of bad news, which means that disasters will dominate headlines for a while before making way for the next terrible thing. Gümüşer saw this happen with the cataclysmic monsoon floods in Pakistan, which left a third of the nation underwater last year. It happens with deadly building collapses, military takeovers and full-blown invasions. Now he’s worried it’ll happen with the pair of earthquakes that shook parts of the country to their foundations in February, killing more than 46,000 people and leaving a million homeless.
“Time passes and we forget,” Gümüser said. But manufacturers in the region need more than goodwill and charity to recover, especially those who have lost their factories and are feeling unmotivated. He expects at least 10 percent of Turkey’s garment and textile exports to be redirected as a result of disruptions to production. In Kahramanmaras, a major spinning and dyeing hub where Kipas Textiles operates 25 facilities and employs 6,500 people, the devastation has been so great that most of the factories there are unlikely to restart before June. Some may not be able to pick up the pieces until the end of the year.
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