Turkish State Minister Ali Babacan said on Friday that, "If Turkey signs a deal with the IMF, and uses an additional source, this will have a positive impact on Turkey's growth rate." "Turkish government has announced its Medium Term Program. In case an agreement can be reached with IMF on the basis of this program, it will be possible to sign a Stand-By deal," Babacan said when asked whether an agreement was necessary with IMF.

In an exclusive interview with private NTV channel, Babacan said talks with IMF continued in technical level, "we will make public if a new development occurs".

Underlining that Medium Term Program was a coherent program enabling Turkey to stand on its own feet, Babacan said the target was to normalise Turkish economy in the possible shortest time.

"If a deal with IMF assists our efforts, we think this agreement will be good for Turkey. But I again say it is not inevitable. It is not a sine qua non. However, the government thinks it would be better if we sign this deal," Babacan added.

Responding to a question on growth, Babacan said Turkey would almost be the most rapidly growing country in Europe next year. "2011 will be a better year than 2010," he added.

Referring to scenarios of early election in 2010, Babacan said the government did not have such a plan. "The government does not have any anticipation regarding early elections in 2010."

Asked to comment on "return to home", Babacan said some concrete developments were recorded. He said diplomatic efforts started after Daglica raid in 2007.

Babacan said it was impossible to accept the incidents that occurred after surrender of PKK members. "Such developments endanger the process. However, the core is that terrorist organization lays down arms."

Babacan said this was definitely a state policy, "preventing participation to the organization and encouraging PKK members to quit the organization is very important. There is full agreement, cooperation, dialogue and coordination among the institutions of the state."
Asked to comment on Armenia, Babacan said Turkey's move towards Armenia upgraded Turkey's profile in the world.

Babacan said Turkey has very special relations with Azerbaijan and would never want them to be damaged and underlined importance of restoration of peace in the Caucasus.


Photo: AA