ECONOMICS > Turkish PM criticizes developed countries at WEF meet

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

The large economies of the world are failing to help the poor countries, according to Turkish PM Erdoğan. The rapporteurs sent to undeveloped countries earn a lot but do not provide enough aid or assistance, he says

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Turkish PM Erdoğan says he believes it is important that the World Economic Forum produces some sort of solution to the gap between rich and poor countries. REUTERS photo

Turkish PM Erdoğan says he believes it is important that the World Economic Forum produces some sort of solution to the gap between rich and poor countries. REUTERS photo

İpek Yezdani İpek Yezdani ipek.yezdani@hurriyet.com.tr

The world’s developed countries are not doing enough to help poorer nations, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in his opening speech at a WEF meeting on the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasia, held in Istanbul yesterday.

Erdoğan has not attended the annual World Economic Forum in Davos for three years, following the “one minute” incident, in which a moderator cut his remarks short during a debate with Israeli President Shimon Peres.

“They send their rapporteurs to undeveloped countries and the money paid for these rapporteurs is being presented as a ‘helping hand’ to the world. However, these rapporteurs go there, ride around in their cars; they earn a serious amount of money. And then I ask those countries if they have received any kind of financial or humanitarian aid, and they say no. This is where the problem is,” Erdoğan said, adding that such a situation was unacceptable.

The first-ever WEF on the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasia commenced June 4 in Istanbul under the theme “Bridging Regions in Transformation.” Erdoğan, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek, Energy & Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız and EU Minister Egemen Bağış are also attending the forum, which will host representatives from 70 countries over two days.

The executive chairman of the WEF, Klaus Schwab, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Tunisian Prime Minister Hammadi Jebali also attended the opening session of the forum.

‘World is longing for love’

Erdoğan said the world was longing for three main things: “First is global peace. We have been continuously talking about global peace, but it remains unfulfilled. Second, we are longing for love in the world. There should be important steps to be taken to achieve this love … And third is -- and this is also very important -- the world is in fact longing for sharing. On one side are the least-developed countries, on another side are the developing countries and on a third side are the developed countries. How much can the developed and developing countries help the least-developed countries?”

Erdoğan said he believed it was important that the WEF produced some sort of solution to these problems.

The prime minister also highlighted Turkey’s development in the past decade. Erdogan said Turkey’s debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was 23.5 billion dollars in 2002 due to stand-by agreements, and that this debt had decreased to 1.7 billion dollars by 2012. Turkey’s debt to the IMF will be paid completely by April 2013, Erdogan added.

“Ten years ago we used to be a country that took, rather than gave. Now we are feeling the joy of giving to other countries as well,” Erdoğan said.

The WEF holds its main, annual meeting at Davos. After the 2009 dispute, Erdoğan said he would not return there.

Turkey’s growth ‘gives hope’

ISTANBUL – Anatolia News Agency

Turkey has reconciled a predominantly Muslim population with a secular democracy, which makes it a model for other countries that are fighting to throw off dictatorships, the World Economic Forum’s founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said yesterday when delivering the opening speech at the forum’s Istanbul event.

“Turkey, a country that lies at the furthermost east of the west and the furthermost west of the east, is the fastest-growing country among OECD countries despite the economic crisis. This gives hope to everyone,” Schwab said.


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Notice on comments

Real G

6/6/2012 6:13:34 PM

@Tamer Aslantas countires like america germany, france, and all the Scandinavia countries like ..norway, finland etc have a welfare package for there own citizen and is even risky for them cus given welfare can cause inflation in a country but stiill all this country dont mind and still give out money for jobless citizens........what turkey only do is to help other countries so that the world will no that turkey is a great nation which is not true

mara mcglothin

6/6/2012 4:46:43 PM

Why does ERdogan suddenly think that he has recreated the wheel?

Tamer Aslantas

6/6/2012 4:46:23 PM

@ iskil muibi Which citizen are benefitting from the wealth? Only the rich benefit! @ mistique holland That's why Turkey is a so-called developing country. It'll get there hopefully!


6/6/2012 2:39:17 PM

Erdogan loves to make himself look benevolent, in the eyes of the world's poor, but I've yet to read of any proposed solutions that he has come up with. Let's not forget that when he travels he takes hundreds of Turkish business people with him, to exploit opportunities in those countries he blesses with his presence.

mistique holland

6/6/2012 11:29:52 AM

Erdogan is forgetting that Turks who live in Europe and DON'T WORK get paid every month!!!All of those people are insured for medical attention??The Netherlands give away a lot of money to poor countries. Even Turkey and Israël recieve a lot of money on a yearly basis.Are they poor?? Erdogan is always complaning about the world. Why doesn"t he make sure that Turkish people get a social sytem that when they don't work they get money like overhere???That people are insured while working??

Real G

6/6/2012 10:01:26 AM

Erdogan or what ur name ...you need to empower your own citizen first before complaining about other nations Turkey and russia are the same ...the country are rich but cant empower citizen ......that why america will always rule the world cus america is rich and the citizen are benefiting from the wealth of america.....So Erdogan you need to help ur self first before helping others.

de Wit Hans A.

6/6/2012 8:12:08 AM

The esteemed PM opened the WEF Istanbul with the most urgent economical 'problem' Israel. A country which has more companies at the NASDAQ than all the countries of the EU together. And bragging about his own country where not even one company make it to the brand top 500. I am surprised that Hamas is not invited!

rich bind

6/6/2012 7:07:23 AM

No mention about how much Turkey gives in foreign aid each year. As for showing some love, how about directing some towrd the Kurds, France, Armenia, Greece, Cyprus, Russia , Israel and Iraq.
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