"The government is not the enemy of the IMF, but the fund should assume a considerate attitude on Turkey. The government did not welcome pressure from the IMF," Erdogan said at a joint press conference in Ankara with Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, who is currently in Turkey for a formal visit.
Erdogan said that Turkey would not accept conditions such as increasing taxes, freezing investments and interfering with the budget. "If we stop investments now, that would lead to a collapse at this time. We need to invest to create employment now," he added.
Market players and the business community have been piling pressure on the government to make a rapid decision on the future shape of relations with the IMF amid a growing global financial crisis.
The IMF and the European Union process are seen as major anchors of the economy. Turkey’s latest $10 billion stand-by agreement with the IMF had expired in May.
The prime minister reiterated his recent remarks regarding an IMF deal and said Turkey would not accept tough conditions from the IMF for a possible new standby loan, despite the global economic crisis.
He said the government has been working on measures and that Turkey would overcome the current economic situation, global financial crisis, with minimal loss.
"We have been taking some measures. We are making some legal arrangements. We also hold talks with representatives of the private sector and nongovernmental organizations on the matter," he said.
ECONOMIC TIES SHOULD BE BOOSTED
Erdogan said Turkey attached a special importance to prosperity and tranquility of Pakistan.
Trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan should be boosted and both countries were determined to increase this figure to $1 billion dollars, Erdogan told reporters.
Cash-strapped Pakistan is working on a plan to avert an economic crisis and it may have to seek politically unpopular aid from the International Monetary Fund.
Pakistan needs up to $5 billion to avoid defaulting on sovereign debt due for repayment next year. Its economy is suffering from soaring inflation and a plunging currency.
Turkey has had traditionally warm ties with Pakistan since the South Asian nation’s independence more than 60 years ago, with the countries often running cultural exchange programs.
In April 2007, Ankara hosted fence-mending talks between then Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, in which the two leaders agreed to step up joint efforts against terrorism and boost confidence-building. A second summit is being planned, but no firm date has yet been set.
Gilani also will meet President Abdullah Gul later in the day. He will attend the World Economic Forum in Istanbul on Thursday.