Turkey sees economic gains of peace process


Turkey has started to see positive economic results from the peace process, especially in the eastern and southeastern provinces affected by the incentives system, which was adopted last year. "The number of certified subsidized investments has increased to 566 in these provinces in the first five months of 2013, from 310 in the same period last year. The number of new jobs has increased from 10,000 to 26,000, and the amount of fixed direct investments has risen fourfold to 8.1 billion Turkish Liras," Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, yesterday. Turkey adopted a new geographical region and industry-based state incentive system June 20, 2012, and the Economy Ministry selected Diyarbakir to announce the first annual economic results of the new system. Provinces are ranked in terms of social and economic development and are categorized in six groups in terms of incentive priority. The provinces in the sixth group, mostly consisting of poorer eastern and southeastern provinces, receive the most investment support. Caglayan said 4,840 projects worth 76 billion liras benefited from incentives in the framework of the new system since last year. "The first region, in which Istanbul is located, took ‘the lion's share' with subsidized investments worth 32.8 billion, while the sixth region's subsidized investments value reached 8.2 billion liras," he said. In the country, the investment certificate number increased by 20 percent from the previous period, the investment volume rose by 60 percent and employment showed a 59 percent increase. Caglayan said they aimed to create 27,465 jobs with 575 new projects in advance in the sixth region. "Twenty projects have been started in the region, as 11 projects have been completed in the other five regions. Textiles, tourism and construction materials production are the prominent sectors in the sixth region," he noted. Speaking at the same meeting, Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker said the incentive system did not make enough of a contribution in the sixth region in the first six months but with the peace process the perception about the region had changed. He added that around 45,000 farmers in Diyarbakir received 1.8 billion liras. "We founded the Supporting Council for Agriculture and Rural Development. A total of 492 million liras will be invested in 393 projects, while 278 million liras of the amount has been granted," he said. "A minister invited me to an event in Diyarbakir for the first time in my 9-year service period. Mr. Caglayan said they had wanted to hold such a meeting in our city, which is honor for us," Osman Baydemir, the mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of Diyarbakir, said. The Turkish cities that are considered in the "sixth region" are Agri, Ardahan, Batman, Bingol, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Hakkari, Igdir, Kars, Mardin, Mus, Siirt, Sanliurfa, Sirnak and Van.