middle east

Good Economic News... If you're a Turk


The Turkish people elected a new government in 2002. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became Prime Minister after his AK Party gained an absolute majority in the nation's unicameral legislature. Erdoğan and AK have governed continuously from 2002 through the present.

The annual change in gross national product (Graph, Turkish Review, January 2011) developed through Turkish management of the economy.

During the critical period that included the global recession, Turkey fared better than most industrial nations. (Trading Economics)


Negative growth hit Turkey in only three quarters, with a solid rebound starting in 2009. Forth quarter 2010 economic growth was 9.2%. Only China led Turkey during that time with 9.8% growth.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced an end to its formal agreement with Turkey in 2010. In fact, the Turks ended IMF involvement with economic management in 2007 when they rejected IMF's "austerity" requirements for a stand by loan. Since that time, Turkey has paid off 75% of its IMF debt and managed the economy without IMF help.

Highlights - How they did it

Oil Prices Spiking on Middle East Protests and Overthrows

Oil Futures are spiking due to Libya and the Middle East's March to Freedom. While food inflation is cited as an Egyptian revolutionary spark, for the United States it might just be oil.

Oil jumped to the highest in more than two years as violence intensified in Libya, stoking concern crude supplies will be disrupted as violence escalates around the Middle East and North Africa.

New York futures for April delivery rose as much as 9.8 percent from the close on Feb. 18, while London-traded Brent surged to the highest since September 2008, as soldiers deserted Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s government and diplomats resigned. The country, holder of the largest crude reserves on the African continent, pumped 1.6 million barrels a day of oil in January, equivalent of about 8 percent of U.S. consumption.

“Oil is being bought on the risk that this contagion will spread through the Middle East,” Jonathan Barratt, managing director of Commodity Broking Services Pty in Sydney, said by telephone today. “This effect is a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that this could spread.”

Crude for April delivery rose as high as $98.48 and was at $96.50 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:37 a.m. Singapore time. It settled at $89.71 on Feb. 18. Floor trading was closed yesterday for the Presidents Day holiday and electronic trades will be booked today for settlement purposes.