PM Erdogan: "Turkey is standing on its own feet and doesn't need a new standby with the IMF"
Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Turkey-South Korea Business Forum meeting in Istanbul yesterday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey and the International Monetary Fund have jointly decided to halt ongoing negotiations for a new standby deal. "We had previously said we would not say yes, especially if political impositions were in place, involving institutional changes," he explained. "In recent months, the IMF didn't insist on a deal. Now the IMF has also seen that Turkey doesn't need such a standby." Stressing that the Turkish economy has proved its resilience to outside financial shocks by weathering the global economic crisis with minimal damage and tapping credit markets without difficulty, Erdogan said, "Turkey is now standing its own feet and doesn't need a new standby deal with the Fund. Not only Turkey but also the IMF itself consider such a deal unnecessary." However, Turkey and the IMF will continue their routine negotiations since Turkey is one of the Fund's 192 member states, he added. Commenting on the same matter, Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Ali Babacan echoed Erdogan, saying that signing a new standby deal with the IMF was no longer a must for Turkey as the government's medium-term economic program helped the country make remarkable progress last year. "This program earned credibility both in Turkey and abroad," he said. "We will continue to implement our own program as we have in the last six months." Babacan dismissed concerns that the country's economy needs an IMF deal to dig its way out of the global recession. "There's no need to sign a deal with the IMF. Turkey's economy has proven that it can hold up strongly through our own policies at such a dire time," he said. "We will decide how to continue relations with the IMF after assessing developments in the markets in May," he added.