Turkey to become one of three largest European economies, minister claims
AA PhotoEconomy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has unveiled an ambitious goal for Turkey to become one of the three largest economies in the world by 2023, apparently bidding to surpass at least one of three giants – Germany, France or the United Kingdom.
“This country will become one of the top 10 economies in the world and top three in Europe in 2023,” he said at a meeting in the southwestern province of Denizli in a reference to the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the modern Turkish Republic.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has continually set high goals for 2023, frequently touching on them during election campaigns.
The minister also questioned figures from main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, saying it was untrue that 17 million of Turkey’s 77 million were living under the poverty line.
The AKP, which came to power in 2002, pushed the percentage of people living on under $4.35 a day from 30 to 2 percent by the end of 2013, he said.
The minister pledged to cut the percentage to 0 percent by the end of the year.
Nobody in Turkey lives on under 2 dollars a day, he said.
“[Kılıçdaroğlu] has no willingness to learn. He will never learn because he doesn’t want to,” he said.
According to 2014 International Monetary Fund (IMF) figures, Turkey is the largest 17th economy in the world at a size of $1.5 trillion, a picture corroborated by the World Bank.
Turkey is also bidding to soon surpass Italy and Spain, Zeybekci said.