Simsek touts Turkey's vigorous economic recovery
Turkey's economy is recovering from the global crisis better than expected and is likely to see growth of at least 5.5 percent this year, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said yesterday. Speaking at an economics conference in Kyrenia, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Simsek and TRNC President Dervis Eroglu also called on the international community to bring an end to Turkish Cyprus' isolation. Simsek also noted that the growth of Turkey's real gross domestic product for the first half of this year was approximately 10 percent. "We were expecting a strong recovery, but it exceeded even our expectations," Simsek said. "Full-year estimates range from 5.5 percent all the way to 7 percent, so we do expect some slowdown in the second half of the year, but it looks like our growth will pass the record high among European Union member states or at least OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) nations, and be second only to China as a major economy among the G-20 countries." On the Cyprus problem, Simsek said, "Turkey was very constructive in 2004 and encouraged both the Greek and Turkish Cypriots to agree to the UN peace plan, which Greek Cypriots rejected. Unfortunately, despite the Turkish Cypriots' constructive approach and the Greek Cypriot rejection of the plan, the EU took Greek Cyprus as a member and left Turkish Cypriots out in the cold and isolated. We're hoping that the EU will rectify this so that this part of the island can also begin to enjoy very strong growth." He added, "Any solution on Cyprus needs to be workable and viable, one that is sustainable."