Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that the year 2009 had a special place in the last seven years since his Justice & Development (AK) Party came to power.

In his televised address to nation, Erdogan said that Turkey had a long way to solve its chronic problems and to become a more peaceful and prosperous country over the past seven years during AK Party government.

Erdogan said, "in 2009, when giant economies of the world were rocked by the global financial crisis, it is obvious that Turkey achieved this way on a firm ground established in the last seven years."

"Of course we had some troubles during the crisis," Erdogan said. "Nevertheless, Turkish economy has not suffered disastrous pictures that several giant economies faced."

Erdogan said, however, Turkish government had revised economic targets, yet Turkey had not seen irreparable economic devastation in this period.

Prime Minister Erdogan also expressed his expectations from the coming year.

"I see the year 2010 as a year in which Turkish people will completely weather the economic crisis, be free from impacts of it and have a rising vigor for growth," he said.

Erdogan recalled that international organizations also made such estimations supportive of government projections for the next year.
"According to OECD projections, Turkey will be the second fastest growing country, after South Korea, among 30 countries in 2010. In 2011, Turkey is expected to be the fastest growing country," he said. "I believe that Turkey, with its dynamism, will leave its mark in the world next year and it will also have its name rather frequently mentioned."

Reminding that Turkey achieved an average 5.8 percent growth between 2002 and 2008, Erdogan said that Turkish economy, which was on the brink of a disaster in 2002, has become the 17th largest economy in the world from 26th place.

Erdogan said major economic indicators proved all these progress.

Erdogan said "a realist policy" must be pursued to further improve Turkey's economy with an eye for a sustainable growth rate.
Erdogan said his government had achieved to reduce inflation rate down to single-digit values, adding that inflation for November 2009 was 5.5 percent which he underlined was lower than anticipated.

"However, there is a certain level of increase in the unemployment rate due to a global economic crisis as it raised to 13.4 percent in September 2009 from 11 percent in 2008. But it is pleasing to see that upward move has stopped over the last couple of months and even there is a slight recovery in employment figures," Erdogan said.

Erdogan also estimated that Turkey's exports would gradually rise as a global economic recovery was expected to revive foreign demand.

AA