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Erdogan cuts development target plans for 2023 in half: report

The Turkish government has prepared a new development plan for the period 2019-2023, cutting its previously set ambitious targets for the centenary of the Turkish Republic’s founding in 2023 in half, T24 news site reported on Tuesday.

Submitted to the Turkish parliament on Monday following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s approval, the five-year development plan aims to raise the gross domestic product (GDP) to $1.1 trillion.

It also aims to raise per capita income to $12,244, the value of exports to $226.6 billion and reduce unemployment to 9.9 percent.

In 2011 when the Turkish economy was booming with double-digit growth and the AKP government was praised internationally, the government set the original targets for 2023.

At the time, the previous 2023 targets were aimed at raising the GDP to $2 trillion, per capita income to $25,000, exports to $500 million and reducing unemployment to 5 percent.

However now in its eighth year of the plan, Turkey is wide of the 2023 targets, with its GDP at $784 billion, per capita income at under $10,000 and exports at $168 million.

Economy analysts say Turkey is experiencing its second economic recession under the Erdogan rule. They cite political and not economic reasons for the current recession.

The row with the United States (US) over jailed American Pastor Andrew Brunson prompted a severe sell-off of the Turkish lira, pushing it to an all-time low against the US dollar.

Erdogan and his son-in-law, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, claim that Turkey’s economy has been under attack by foreign powers and speculators.

Erdogan’s government has long been criticized for not undertaking substantial and structural reforms. Critics said it is not just and reasonable to ignore the deficiencies on the government economic policies and instead, to blame them on other speculative factors.

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