ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey’s potential economic strength is intimately tied to a reform of the judiciary, Deputy PM Babacan says, noting that much more must be done
Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan. AA photo
Turkey should reform its judicial system in order to achieve its target of joining the ranks of the world’s top 10 economies by the country’s centenary in 2023, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said yesterday.
“In order to improve its investment climate and to have a predictable rule of law, we have things to do.
We must certainly create a more rapid and consistent judicial process,” Babacan said during a meeting hosted at the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA).
According to Babacan, constitutional amendments on the judiciary that were approved in a 2010 referendum were insufficient.
“We are not at an ideal point regarding fundamental rights and freedoms. We need more judicial reforms.
To become a country where there is a functioning democracy and the rule of law is our sine qua non.
Without political reforms, economic success cannot be maintained,” he said, adding that without democratic rule, economic development alone would fail to satisfy people.
“Development based on economic growth alone falls short of satisfying people,” he said.
Turkey must also develop its educational system to attain its targets for 2023, Babacan said. “Our educational situation is not very pleasing. The average number of years of schooling for adults is 6.5 years. With this education level, it is hard to achieve a target of $25,000 per capita GDP. We can achieve this goal with a better education level,” Babacan said.
The meeting at SETA was held to launch a report titled “Turkish Economy under AK Party [Justice and Development Party] Rule” that was written by Erdal Tanas Karagöl.
In his presentation speech, Karagöl said Turkey needed to make its economic development stable and consistent if it wanted to be one of the world’s top 10 economies in 10 years’ time.
Resources for research and development should be increased and the current account deficit should be taken under control by increasing the share of national and renewable energy sources, Karagöl said.
Between 2002 and 2011, the Turkish economy grew an average annual real GDP growth rate of 5.2 percent despite a global economic downturn that began in 2008, according to the report. It is estimated that Turkey will be the fastest-growing economy in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) with a 6.7 percent average growth rate in the 2011-2017 period, the report said.
Speaking at the meeting, the International Monetary Fund’s representative in Turkey, Mark White Lewis, suggested that Turkey should increase its savings, competitiveness and productivity in order to be able to sustain its economic development.
Babacan said political stability had played a central role in Turkey’s stable economic progress during the AKP’s rule.
However, strong political rule alone is not sufficient for economic development, the deputy premier said, adding that appropriate policies should be pursued to find solutions for economic problems arising from the global economic crisis.