‘Peaceful Turkey’ to be role model in region

‘Peaceful Turkey’ to be role model in region

BURSA - Anatolia News Agency
‘Peaceful Turkey’ to be role model in region

Turkey’s Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek (2nd L) and economist Nouriel Roubini from New York University attend the second Uludağ Economy Summit. DHA photo

If Turkey can solve the Kurdish issue by increasing fundamental rights and freedoms in the framework of advanced democracy then Turkey’s regional and global position would be strengthened and it would become a role model, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek has said at the second Uludağ Economy Summit.

“If the process of resolution succeeds and a permanent solution is established, Turkey will be a very different country,” Şimsek said on the second day of the summit that took place between March 29 and 30 in the northwestern province of Bursa. The summit, organized by the Governorship of Bursa as well Capital and Ekonomist magazines, gathers top leaders from private sector companies, governments, nonprofit organizations and academic institutions to discuss global economic issues.

Şimşek stated that the financial resources, estimated at between $300 billion and $400 billion, allocated to the struggle against terror for almost 40 years, could be channeled toward education and health, infrastructure, research and development, employment, production, investments and exports. Turkey will be able to use its resources more efficiently, he added.

Şimşek said the government should focus on the structural reform of Turkey now. “If Turkey solves its complicated problem by increasing fundamental rights and freedoms in the framework of advanced democracy, it will strengthen Turkey’s global and regional position and be the source of inspiration for many countries and regions. It will be role model.”

With the peace process, the east and southeast of Turkey (the regions most affected by terrorism) will draw more investments and will develop, Şimşek said. “Just as Turkey has been trying to fill the gap with Western nations in the past decade, Turkey’s east and southeast are in a similar effort to close the gap with the west. We are in a process where regional development is becoming more balanced.” 

Turkey’s East to draw more investments

The minister said that the eastern provinces of Turkey could not draw enough investment due to instability and tension. “The state allocates 116 Turkish Liras for an investment cost of 100 liras in Hakkari. But there is no investment in Hakkari. Because peace, reliability and stability are required for making an investment. An investment flow will come to these regions with the peace process,” he said. Şimşek stressed that as these regions develop, it would close the gap with Turkey’s west, and it would lead Turkey to close the gap with the West. 

However, the economist Nouriel Roubini from New York University said at the meeting that, “the Turkish-Kurdish peace process will decrease military expenses”, in parallel with the statement of Şimşek. He claimed that more investments would take place in these regions, affected by terrorism, and that social stability and compromise would be established. It will also influence the oil pipeline issue, he added. “The peace process will mostly influence domestic trade. Turkey could be one of the biggest success stories,” he said.