Report reveals regional income gaps in Turkey

Report reveals regional income gaps in Turkey

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Report reveals regional income gaps in Turkey

The green cities have economies equal to prominent world cities, red cities live in poverty and blue provinces are at risk of failing, says the report.

The economic volumes of only 14 Turkish provinces are at the same level as prominent world cities, while some 27 live under poverty conditions, according to a recent Turkish Enterprise and Business Federation (Türkonfed) report, which points at the regional differences.

There are 40 provinces that bear the risk of being caught in the “middle income trap,” according to a report titled “Exit from the Middle Income Trap: Which Turkey?” a press release from the federation said.

The provinces without a risk of being trapped in the middle income band mainly pile in the industrialized northwestern region. The capital city of Ankara, the country Ankara, the country’s third largest city İzmir, the Black Sea province of Bolu and the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir are the expections.

Middle income is majority

The at-risk provinces stretch from Artvin, the northeastern border province, to Çanakkale in the west, covering a large area of Turkey, while the middle or low-income provinces are in the east and southeast of the country.

The combined gross domestic product of the top 10 provinces (Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Eskişehir, Bilecik, Kocaeli, Sakarya, Bolu, Düzce and Yalova) amounts to $376 billion, surpassing some of the richest countries such as Singapore, Norway and Switzerland in economic size.

Turkey spent 50 years at the middle-low income level from 1955 to 2005, while the duration for China was 17 years, the press release said. Turkey is one of the three countries that spent the longest time at that income level, along with Bulgaria and Costa Rica, it said. “Diversified development prescriptions for rapidly developing, integrated-to-the-world, competitive regions and slowly developing, backward regions are vital [to achieve] the ‘2023 Turkey’ vision,” Türkonfed Chairman Süleyman Onatça said, adding that the report lays out ways to save the country from this “trap.” The report was written by Erinç Yeldan, an economist from Yaşar University, Kamil Taşcı and Mehmet Emin Özsan from the Development Ministry and Ebru Vovoda, an economist from Middle Eastern Technical University. It will be discussed at the 16th Entrepreneurship and Business World Summit on Dec. 14 in Ankara.

Limit: $17,000 per capita

Economists define the middle income trap as the state of economies that have reached the $17,000 per capita national income level but cannot make it to the next level in terms of national income and are stuck in the middle income band, the press release said.