Following a meeting with the Turkish authorities in Istanbul on July 28, Stanley Fischer issued a statement announcing the successful completion of negotiations for the review and commenting on the Turkish program and the country's prospects. Slightly edited excerpts follow. The full text is available on the IMF's website (www.imf.org) as News Brief No. 01/66.
The goals of Turkey's economic program are to bring about sustainable economic growth and increased living standards for the Turkish people.
To achieve these goals, the program seeks a lasting reduction in inflation; to ensure the sustainability of the government's fiscal position; and to undertake an ambitious set of structural reforms.More generally, the program seeks to modernize the economy, reduce political influence over it, and prepare it to meet the challenges for entry into Europe.Attainment of these goals is critical to the future of Turkey.
Turkey has already made impressive progress in implementing this very ambitious program: it has undertaken important banking sector and other structural reforms, continued strong fiscal adjustment despite difficult economic circumstances, carried out an extensive legislative agenda, and undertaken a successful voluntary domestic debt swap.
All of Turkey shares the credit for what has been achieved-the government for implementing the program, parliament for completing an exceptionally heavy legislative agenda in its spring session, and especially the Turkish people for supporting the economic program despite the currently difficult economic situation.
These achievements explain why the international community-in large measure through the IMF and the World Bank-has provided an extraordinary amount of financial support to Turkey over the past year and a half.
My visit to Turkey this week has given me fresh assurance that this level of international support will continue to be justified. I say this for two reasons-the strong political support this program enjoys and the strength of the program itself.
I was privileged to meet yesterday in Ankara with Prime Minister [Bulent] Ecevit and Deputy Prime Ministers [Devlet] Bahçeli and [Mesut] Yilmaz.What struck me in talking separately to these political leaders was their unanimous support for Turkey's economic program. Their views were aptly summarized by one of the leaders, when he told me that the pro-Page 263 gram would be...