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    PM Erdogan lambasts tax evaders in Turkish system

    Hürriyet Haber
    23.09.2005 - 12:10 | Son Güncelleme:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at a "Tax Champions" award ceremony put on by the Income Tax Department and the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB), reserved sharp criticism for those who don't pay their taxes in Turkey.

    Erdogan responded to voices calling for a lowering in taxes, noting that around 60% of people who should be paying taxes are getting away without paying them, and that the government is only able to catch a small number of these. The PM vowed that his administration would continue lowering taxes as it already had, but warned that this was not a prize or an incentive for those who hadn't been paying taxes all along. Erdogan used the "Tax Champions" ceremony to congratulate those who, as he said "paid their taxes with money earned from the sweat of their brows."
     
    Part of what PM Erdogan also said is as follows:
     
    "We have no petrol. Taxation is an important source of income for us. I will not pass on without stressing this crucial reality: the comparison between those who are paying taxes and those who are operating outside the taxation system reveals a terrible disadvantage for Turkey....Unfortunately, this is Turkey's reality. When we came to power, Turkey was not able to pay off its' loans interests. But now, with the taxes we've been able to collect, Turkey has been able to pay these, buy not on credit, and even make investments. And if we could start collecting all taxes from those operating outside the system, think of where we could go. It is our hope that all of our citizens realize this responsibility, and that we all work together to lift this country up. This is a matter of ethics and possibilities
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