Turkey’s resigned economy minister to form new political union
After only 17 months in office, Kemal Dervis has resigned from his post as economy minister in Turkey's crumbling three-way coalition government. The move is expected to pave Dervis’s way into politics, ahead of the upcoming general elections on November 3.
The former World Bank economist is aiming to form a pro-Western political alliance of Turkey's fractured center-left parties. "I will work for the creation of a choice on the center-left that reflects modern social liberal theory and that could come to power on its own," Dervis said.
In early March 2001, Dervis was appointed state minister by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, after crisis erupted in the banking sector, propelling the Turkish economy into its worst recession since 1945. The country lost $7.6 billion in one day, while spiraling inflation caused the local Lira currency to lose some 50 percent against the dollar.
Entrusted with wide economic responsibilities, Dervis masterminded a tight rescue plan for the Turkish economy, backed by $17 billion in International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans. Earlier this week, the IMF approved the withdrawal of the latest $1.1 billion tranche, under the three-year stand-by arrangement, and said the country’s economic recovery program was on track.
Dervis is hoping to establish a stable government, which would not only enhance Turkey’s chances at entering the EU, but would also counterbalance the strong parliamentary position of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), which is seeking to water down the IMF deal.
Following the popular minister’s resignation, Ecevit appointed a deputy from his own
Democratic Left Party (DSP), Masum Turker, to the post. Turker was quick to pledge that he plans to stick by the IMF reform program. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)