Over the past eight years, Turkey’s economic performance has been exemplary, re-establishing itself following the 2001 crisis. Despite being one of the world’s fastest growing countries, Turkey is now facing a number of economic challenges as a result of the global economic downturn. Although the effects of the crisis in Turkey have been limited so far—no banks have collapsed, nor have any insurance companies failed—questions still remain about how an emerging market such as Turkey’s can best respond to the uncertainty in the current global economic environment.
On April 27, the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings hosted Turkish Minister of State Mehmet Şimşek for a discussion of the health of Turkey’s economy and the Turkish government’s recently announced economic stimulus plans. Mehmet Şimşek was elected to the Turkish Parliament on July 22, 2007 and appointed as the state minister in charge of the economy in August of that year. Prior to entering politics, Mr. Şimşek was the chief economist and strategist for emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa region at Merrill Lynch in London, a position he held for seven years. He served as senior economist and bank analyst for Deutsche-Bender Securities from 1998 to 2000.
Nonresident Fellow Ömer Taşpınar, director of CUSE’s Turkey Project, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, Minister Şimşek took audience questions.