Turkey’s reform program one of broadest in G-20: Economy tsar
LONDON - Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoTurkey has one of the most comprehensive structural reform agendas in the G-20, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek said late March 12.
Speaking at a meeting of a Turkish-British forum in Bath, southwest England, Şimşek said the relationship between Turkey and the U.K. was “better than ever” and pointed to the U.K.’s support for Turkey’s EU membership bid.
“Our EU accession is not an obsession with joining a club,” he said.
“It is actually about reforms because the EU accession process entails economic, social and political transformation on a wholesale basis.”
The minister told the forum: “We have a really comprehensive reform program. We have one of the most comprehensive structural reform agendas or roadmaps among G-20 countries. I believe over the next few months we will push through significant reforms.”
Outlining the challenges facing Turkey, Şimşek said the country had gone through a difficult three years, including four elections in the past 24 months.
“As of today we host 3.2 million refugees in Turkey, the majority of which are Syrians,” he told the meeting, adding that 800,000 school-age Syrian children were living in Turkey.
David Lidington, the British minister for Europe, said the two countries had been working together for centuries but the relationship had “never been as intense, multilayered or as important as it is today.”
On Turkey’s EU accession, he said the U.K. remained Turkey’s biggest supporter and pointed to cooperation on security issues as a highlight of bilateral ties.
The Turkish British Tatlıdil forum, established in 2011, brings together leading figures from the fields of academia, business, the media and politics to strengthen relations between Turkey and the U.K.