Turkish jobless rate hits 16.1 percent

Unemployment in Turkey climbed to 16.1 percent in February, official figures showed Friday, as companies struck by the global economic crisis continued to lay off workers. Turkey, where the jobless rate was 15.5 percent in January, now has about 3.8 million unemployed, the Turkish Statistics Institute said. Turkish leaders have been negotiating with the International Monetary Fund for a new loan since January but differences over the conditions attached to the loan limited any progress. Turkey is reportedly eyeing a three-year loan deal of around $40 billion.