Turkish economy fell sharply in 2012

Expert tells 'Post' that despite slowed growth, “Turkey is still in good shape compared to other world economies.”

turkish PM Erdogan 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer )
turkish PM Erdogan 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer )
Turkey’s economy dropped sharply in 2012, Turkish official figures showed, as growth slowed to 2.2 percent from rates of 9.2 and 8.8 in 2010 and 2011. According to a report in the Turkish daily Hurriyet on Monday, the Turkish Statistical Institute wrote that the economy grew by only 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The government expected economic growth to match 2011 levels, but was forced to revise their figures mid-year when data became available, according to the report.
Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek tried to put a positive spin on the results, stating that its growth rate of 2.2% was good considering the global economic slowdown and the EU economic crisis.
Gil Feiler, an expert on Middle Eastern economies and a researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, told The Jerusalem Post that the Turkish spin on the results was largely accurate.
The media, he said, is focusing on the bad Turkish economic results from the fourth quarter, but that “Turkey is still in good shape compared to other world economies.”
“Turkey remains one of the strongest economies in the world and any country can have one or two bad results,” Feiler continued. “But one must look at its exports and these numbers are very good.”
This comes amid news of a possible rapprochement between Israel and Turkey after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the death of Turkish citizens in the Mavi Marmara incident.
The possible thawing of relations led to talk of a potential gas pipeline that would go from Israel through Turkey and beyond, but many obstacles remain before any significant improvement in relations can occur.
“The apology is an entirely separate matter,” Feiler said.
“Turkey would like to cooperate in oil and military areas with Israel no matter what it says publicly.”
He added that trade relations between the countries are good.
A representative of the Energy and Water Ministry told the Post that it is currently not involved in any discussions of a potential gas pipeline between the two countries.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israeli-Turkish trade was close to $4 billion in 2012 despite the global economic crisis.