Turkish economy may face hard times in first half of 2009-PM

Turkish economy may face hard times in first half of 2009-PM

The Turkish prime minister said Tuesday the effects of the global financial crisis on Turkey were minor but signaled that the Turkish economy could face hard times in the first half of 2009.

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Referred to the G-20 summit hosted recently by U.S President George W. Bush in Washington, Tayyip Erdogan said there was wide agreement among leaders of G-20 countries that the world was going through the biggest financial and economic crisis since "the great depression" of the 1930's.

Certain measures were taken against the financial crisis recently, he was quoted by the Anatolian Agency as telling a press conference at Esenboga International Airport in Ankara upon his return from Switzerland.    

Erdogan added he would meet with officials from his administration to make the final adjustments.

The Turkish prime minister said he would make important announcements about the government’s approach to the current situation on Wednesday at the International Investor Association's "Traditional Ankara Protocol Reception".

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He said these announcements would center on the finance sector, real sector and small and medium size enterprises.

"Nobody should expect everything from the government. It's not like, the government is going to inject cash into the emptied safes of companies. Let me put it clearly, such a thing is out of the question," Erdogan said.

Erdogan said the total earnings of the finance sector in 2007 was $11.7 billion and $11 billion in 2008.

"We need to take these figures into consideration. No doubt, there are joint steps that need to be taken in the term ahead. We will take these steps. But when it comes to taking joint action, everybody has to shoulder some responsibility," he said.

Erdogan said the government would not allow anybody to take advantage of the situation, adding the finance sector should do everything it can to overcome the effects of the crisis noting that banks should avoid calling back loans or hesitate to provide new loans.

He also said raising interest rates would be a threat to the economy.



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