Turkish PM reassures investors on stability
Turkey is an "island of stability" with a vision for the future and consistent economic growth, Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Wednesday, Anadolu Agency reported.
In a meeting with a group of Goldman Sachs investors in New York, Davutoglu said political and economic stability are interdependent and Turkey has both.
The Turkish economy has enjoyed a strong growth rate of almost 5.5 percent since 2002, fueled by trade and foreign investment. The growth has been faster than much of the industrialized world.
Turkey's GDP -- the broadest measure of economic output and growth -- has increased to $840 billion from the modest figure of $230 billion recorded in 2002, when the ruling AK Party came to power.
"If you don't have political stability, even if you have an excellent economic vision, you cannot realize it. If you don't have economic stability, even if you have the best brains of the country, you cannot have the political stability," Davutoglu said. "These two are the assets of Turkey."
Davutoglu said Turkey has seen three general, three local and two presidential elections, as well as two referenda, in the last 12 years and in all these polls the AK Party won with clear majorities.
Turkey retained its political and economic stability even after the presidential election in August 2014, after which there was a significant change in the higher echelons of the government, he said.
"This was the first time ever in Turkish democracy that a ruling party changed its chairman and its prime minister when they were in the government," he said.
He said the latest opinion polls ahead of the June 7 general election indicate that his party stands at 48 to 52 percent while the nearest opposition party is estimated to get 22 to 25 percent.
"Getting a strong base for democratic stability towards the general elections in June, we have a clear vision for all sectors through reforming our economy and making a qualitative change," Davutoglu said.
The recent move by the leadership of the terrorist group PKK to invite its militants to lay down arms was "historic," he said, and another indication of Turkey's stability in a region beset by war and conflict.