Erdogan urges nation to reject populist appeals
In his last address to the nation this year, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday argued that the government made significant progress in 2010 to improve public services in areas ranging from education to health, to better the situation of working people and retirees, and to develop the country's industry. Calling this progress laudable but insufficient, Erdogan added, "We want to give our people much more than this, but Turkey's resources allow only this, at least for now." Warning that a return to populist economy policies and reckless spending for political gain would drag Turkey back to the bad old days, Erdogan urged people to resist the appeal of populist pledges. It is Turkey's poor that ultimately pay the price for such populism, he said. Stating that Turks are properly wary of such populist appeals due to bitter experience, in an apparent rebuff to the pledges of main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu to woo low-income voters ahead of next year's general elections, Erdogan said, "Our nation asks: Where on earth will the money come from?"