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Erdogan: "Our govt has made historic reforms"

Erdogan: "Our govt has made historic reforms"

Erdogan: "Our govt has made historic reforms"

The 16th Business Roundtable Meeting, organized by the Economist Conferences branch of Economist Intelligence, was held yesterday in Istanbul. Addressing a panel on "Turkey at the Crossroads," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that for over five years now Turkey has been undergoing dramatic changes, and stressed that the government had made sweeping reforms towards enhanced democracy and expanded human rights and freedoms. He said the most important of these steps was implementing the Copenhagen criteria and starting accession negotiations with the European Union. He said that by carrying out important economic reforms never attempted by past governments, his government had made Turkey the world's 17th-largest economy and the sixth biggest in Europe. Calling the private sector the driving force of Turkey's economy and citing the government's privatization efforts, he said his administration had successfully implemented a free market system and taken important steps towards reducing the state's role in the economy. He added that thanks to economic reforms, the government had managed to establish sustainable development, build economic balance and fiscal discipline, and brings stability to the capital and foreign exchanges markets. Erdogan said Turkey's economy grew by an average of 6.7 percent per year and expressed the government's determination to continue structural reforms, referring to recent measures on banking and finance. Erdogan said Turkey's finance sector is now on solid ground compared with the past. He also reiterated Turkey's determination that no matter how its EU accession talks end, it will continue to implement and consolidate reforms. Speaking to a panel on "Turkey's Position in the New Geopolitical Landscape," Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said that Turkey will continue political and economic reforms despite obstacles and that Turkey is moving towards becoming an open society.