Government needs new economic programme: columnist

The government is implementing the same old economic programme it has been following since it came to power in 2002 and, consequently, problems are building up, says Ibrahim Kahveci, a columnist for the pro-government Karar newspaper.

Even Kemal Derviş, the architect of International Monetary Fund-backed policies that were introduced more than a decade ago, is saying their time is up, Kahveci said.

It seems we are experiencing serious problems in the economy. And our calls for change aren’t reaching the necessary places. Therefore we ask: “Is there anybody there… is there anybody listening?”

Kahveci pointed to a number of problems that haven’t been solved, including high taxes, reliance on foreign capital and interest rates, unemployment, and the trade and current account deficits.

Turkish small and medium-sized enterprises also want to use high technology in production, but all that government institutions are doing is directing them to ‘Technoparks’ where they have to pay $2000-$3000 for an office and get little else. In the meantime, businessman in the southeast of the country are refused bank credits unless they are backed by property, and prices have fallen so much in the region that they have to buy real estate in the west of the country just to get a loan. That’s feeding the construction industry, he said.