Turkey will maintain Europe’s highest growth until 2015

The Turkish economy will record the fastest growth in Europe between 2011 and 2015, according to a report compiled by global commercial real estate services company Jones Lang LaSalle.

The report said the latest indices indicated a slowdown in Turkish growth; however, the EU candidate will maintain the momentum to see the fastest growth in its (GDP) among European economies until 2015. (Photo: Today's Zaman)
The report said the latest indices indicated a slowdown in Turkish growth; however, the EU candidate will maintain the momentum to see the fastest growth in its (GDP) among European economies until 2015. (Photo: Today's Zaman)

Jones Lang LaSalle released its Turkey Real Estate Overview report for the third quarter of 2011 on Monday, assessing the current developments in the Turkish economy with analyses focusing on separate sectors. The report’s economic growth forecast covers the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Recalling that Turkey was the world’s fastest growing economy in the first quarter of this year with 8.9 percent over the same period of 2010, the report said the latest indices indicated a slowdown in Turkish growth; however, the EU candidate will maintain the momentum to see the fastest growth in its gross domestic product (GDP) among European economies during the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

A recently introduced government mid-term economic program (OVP) expects Turkey’s economic growth to stabilize at an average 5 percent by 2012. The report said it was encouraging that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has calculated that the share of Turkey’s budget deficit in its GDP will decrease to 10.3 percent by the end of this year and to 7.2 percent by the end of 2012.

“Turkey has a positive outlook regarding the international credit ratings in the long term,” the report said, recalling that Standard & Poor’s (S&P) had earlier increased the country’s credit rating to investment grade (BB-). Observers argued that this will help improve the global investor sentiment for new investments in Turkish markets while other credit rating agencies can be expected to increase the country’s rating.

The report agrees with this and says more foreign investors could be expected to bring their money to Turkish markets. “Risks concerning investments in Turkey will be minimized significantly in the near future, thus closing the gap between the investment atmosphere in Turkey and the desired investment conditions in developed markets. … [The] Turkish investment market needs to overcome certain structural problems; however, demand for investments in the country remains high.”

This increase in credit rating, the report argued, supports the government’s targets for economic growth and will have a positive psychological impact to boost confidence in the markets. The latest moves by the Central Bank of Turkey are expected to provide $3 billion extra liquidity to markets, the report said, adding that the bank is expected to take proactive measures to minimize the negative affects of a possible liquidity crisis in global markets on domestic markets. The report also said the government currently works on new legislative regulation aimed at creating new job opportunities in Turkey. The regulation that the report mentions is the government initiative to decrease the average weekly work hours so that the extra hours open up new jobs in both public and private institutions.

Turkey’s unemployment rate declined to 9.2 percent in June, representing a 1.2 percent decline compared to the same month a year ago. The report also recalled that Turkey was listed among the countries with the highest number of jobs created in the past three years in earlier Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and International Labour Organization (ILO) reports. In another indicator of economic stability, the report predicts that consumer confidence will remain above 90 percentage points through the end of this year. Data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) showed Turkey’s consumer confidence reached 96.4 percent in June and fell to 91.7 percent in August following a significant loss of value of the Turkish lira (TL) against foreign currency.

In regard to developments in sub-groups — sectors that affect the general economic outlook the most — the report said they did not expect a strong increase in prices in retail and real estate markets considering the devaluation of the lira. The report expects, however, the demand in retail markets to rise considerably through the end of the year. The Turkish logistics market is developing, albeit slowly, and this will help the increase in demand for relatively higher quality products. Turkey will continue to be a highly popular tourist destination, the report says, recalling that İstanbul, the country’s cultural tourism hub, was the fastest growing tourism market among cities in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.






31 October 2011, Monday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL

US retailer recalls Turkish pine nuts

A US-based grocery chain is recalling around 2.3 tons of pine nuts imported from Turkey following a reported bacteria outbreak that sickened 42
A monumental pine tree in the southern province of Mersin is seen in this file photo. Some 2.3 tons of pine nuts imported to the US from Turkey are suspected of carrying salmonella bacteria, which can enter in food due to non-hygienic conditions. Hürriyet photo
A monumental pine tree in the southern province of Mersin is seen in this file photo. Some 2.3 tons of pine nuts imported to the US from Turkey are suspected of carrying salmonella bacteria, which can enter in food due to non-hygienic conditions. Hürriyet photo
A grocery store chain in the United States has decided to recall about 2.3 tons of pine nuts imported from Turkey over concerns of a salmonella outbreak that has infected more than 40 people in the U.S., with two victims being hospitalized.

Turkish pine nuts sold in bulk at the upscale grocery store chain Wegmans have been linked to a salmonella outbreak that sent two people to hospitals and sickened 40 others in five East Coast states and Arizona, according to an Associated Press (AP) report on Oct. 28.

The Turkish ministries of agriculture and foreign trade did not reply to Hürriyet Daily News questions regarding the identity of the Turkish firm that exported the nuts to the US, by the time the paper went to press on Oct.28.

Inspection of exported food is generally up to the regulations and rules of the destination country that will buy the good, according to Petek Ataman, chairwoman of Turkey’s Food Engineers Chamber. Thus, only a part of Turkey’s export goods go through special controls before being sent to other countries, she added.

Insufficient inspections

“A product should be healthy and secure when it reaches the consumer, whether it is exported or not. Thus, should the inspection system within [Turkey] function properly and efficiently, other additional controls such incidents could be avoided. However, official inspections in Turkey remain insufficient within the country as well, thus concerns extend to exported products as well,” Ataman told the Daily News in emailed responses on Oct. 28.

Wegmans said Oct.27 it had recalled 5,000 pounds (2,267 kilograms) of pine nuts imported from Turkey by Sunrise Commodities of New Jersey. They were sold between July 1 and Oct. 18 at its stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland.

42 people were reported sickened after eating the nuts. The firm said the recall applies only to Turkish pine nuts purchased in bulk.

Turkish authorities recently made it possible for small and medium enterprises, which make up 80 percent of all firms in the country, to produce and trade food without supervision of field experts, Ataman said. “Given these provisions, one should not be surprised when concerns come out.”

Saturday, October 29, 2011
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

Strong Arab ties drive Lebanon bank to Turkey

Lebanon’s Bank Audi has been authorized to open a Turkey unit with capital of $300 million. The developing Turkish and Arab ties triggered the lender’s interest in the country, a senior executive tells the Daily News
This company photo shows the Beirut headquarters of Bank Audi. The group’s chief finance executive says Turkey promises a big potential, particularly in middle firms’ section.
This company photo shows the Beirut headquarters of Bank Audi. The group’s chief finance executive says Turkey promises a big potential, particularly in middle firms’ section.

Bank Audi, Lebanon’s leading lender, will enter the Turkish market with a strong business plan, following an authorization by Turkey’s banking regulator to give the bank a license to operate in the country, chief financial officer of the bank Audi Sal-Audi Saradar Group has told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Authority (BDDK) gave a license to Lebanon’s Bank Audi Sal-Audi Saradar Group to establish a bank in Turkey. Bank Audi is authorized to collect deposits in Turkey through a bank with a capital of $300 million, the BDDK decision published in the Official Gazette in Ankara on Oct. 28 read.

Bank Audi has the size and financial flexibility to provide top-notch services to the Turkish market, Freddie Baz, the group’s CFO and strategy director, told the Daily News in a phone interview on Oct. 28. “The exponential growth in trade and capital flows between Turkey and the Arab world in the past decade is what triggered our interest in the country.”

It is important to ensure footprints in a country that offers great domestic opportunities and is also playing a major role in the region, Baz said, recalling that the trade volume between Turkey and the Arab world was $35 billion in 2010. “Thus we aim not only to build capital market share in Turkey, but also play a major role to further increase trade flows between Turkey and Arab countries,” Baz said. Many Bank Audi clients are already enthusiastic for the bank’s expansion to Turkey, hoping they will expand or initiate new trade relations with the country.

Although Turkey’s economic growth has had a great positive impact on the banking sector, there are still a lot of growth prospects with respect to huge potential existing in Turkey in terms of labor force and resources, Baz said.

Middle segment potential

“We believe there are lots of undiscovered segments in Turkish markets, especially in the middle enterprises segment, where we want to bring added value and develop franchises,” Baz said.

Bank Audi is a group of 10 banks and one investment company present in 11 countries. “We rank among the top 20 leading Arab banking groups and are the largest bank in Lebanon,” Baz said.

Another very important consideration for Bank Audi is the large corporate market segment, according to Baz, who said they would deploy resources in order to help this segment by providing them with financing.

Lebanon attracted $62 billion in liquidity last year and Bank Audi alone enjoyed primary liquidity worth $6.1 billion, according to Baz. “Local [Lebanese] regulations allow to deploy a part of this liquidity to Turkey, under certain considerations,” he said, adding that this implied hundreds of billions of dollars could be pumped in as liquidity to Turkish markets.

“This is important, especially at a time that we know all banks at the regional or global level, are suffering from a scarcity of liquidity.”

‘Lots of Turkish friends’

“We have a lot of friends in Turkey and we are in continuous cooperation with our Turkish counterparts through corresponding banking channels,” Baz said, praising Turkish banks for their professionalism with which they are covering the market.

“It’s an important thing that there’s investment in Turkish banking at a time when risks for the global system are rising,” Tevfik Bilgin, head of the banking regulator that issued the license, said in a telephone interview, according to a report by Bloomberg news agency on Oct. 28. “Bringing capital of $300 million is an important signal too; it’s 15 times the minimum capital and sets a psychological benchmark for others who may want to enter the system.”

Friday, October 28, 2011
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey’s trade deficit widens to record highs

Turkey’s trade deficit raised to record-high levels in September. Domestic saving rates should be increased to address the problem, an economist argues.

The trade deficit peaked to $10.4 bln in September, compared with $6.7 bln it was in 2010’s same month TÜİK figures show. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK.
The trade deficit peaked to $10.4 bln in September, compared with $6.7 bln it was in 2010’s same month TÜİK figures show. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK.

Turkey’s trade deficit widened to a record level in September compared with last year, official figures published yesterday show.

Skyrocketing current trade deficit and a low domestic savings ratio in the growing economy raise concerns about the country’s dependency on import products and booming demand, according to professionals.

The trade deficit was $10.4 billion in September, the biggest gap recorded, compared with $6.7 billion on September last year and $8.2 billion the previous month, according to figures published by Turkey’s Statistical Institute (TÜİK). Measures taken by Turkey’s Central Bank have thus failed to reduce the trade gap in September, an economist told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Turkey might have already experienced the “peak” in its trade deficit by last month, and it might take a few months for the Central Bank’s steps to show their effect on the economy, Erol Katıcıoğlu, a professor at Istanbul Bilgi University, told the Daily News yesterday.

“Still, the Bank might be pushing the envelope regarding its moves between restrictive and expansionary monetary policies, he added.

More expensive imports

The Turkish Lira’s recent depreciation “might be seen as [a chance] to put the brake on booming consumption and imports in Turkey,” said Katırcıoğlu, adding that imports had not slowed down, although they have become more expensive, with the lira’s depreciation.

The trade gap grew faster than expected by markets, which estimated the deficit to be around $8.5 billion in September, mainly due to a considerable rise in imports, whichtotaled $21 billion in September – $2 billion higher than the markets’ expectation – thus marking an increase of 35 percent compared to the same month last year. Meanwhile, exports accrued in line with expectations at $10.8 billion. The gap for the first nine months of 2011 was $82 billion.

“It is obvious that the annual trade deficit will be way beyond expectations,” said Erdal Sağlam, an Istanbul-based economist.

Demand has not been reduced yet in line with expectations from the economy administration, he said, adding that low saving ratios in a country with strong demand could trigger further problems down the line.

“We expect to see an economic slowdown starting from November thanks to the Central Bank’s new policy that employs the interest rate corridor to increase overall interest rates in the economy,” he said in a statement emailed yesterday.

Domestic savings

Structural problems are still preventing Turkey from forging a sustainable economy, said Erdoğan Alkin, a Daily News columnist. The savings ratio problem still remains a key issue ahead of the country, mainly stemming from income injustice and a failing tax policy, he said. The ratio of domestic saving to gross domestic product in Turkey is currently at record-low levels and is expected to go down to 12 percent by yearend, compared to 12.6 pct it was in 2010.

Thursday, October 27, 2011
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News

Turkish govt to pay salaries of Van earthquake victims

Çelik stated on Tuesday that the government will be helping businesses affected by Sunday’s earthquake in Van by paying their workers’ salaries for a period of up to six months.

Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Çelik stated on Tuesday that the government will be helping businesses affected by Sunday’s earthquake in Van by paying their workers’ salaries for a period of up to six months.

Prior to a meeting with Germany’s Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Integration Guntram Schneider in Ankara, Minister Çelik gave a speech to the press. Çelik said that the government will be assisting businesses in the area affected by the earthquake with payments of TL 500 to TL 1,200 for each of their workers for up to six months. Çelik added that each ministry is doing ıts part to help the people of Van.

A similar earthquake in 1999 killed 17,000 and placed a huge economic burden on the shoulders of the coalition government of the time, which was already struggling with domestic economic troubles. Most observers attributed the economic crises of 2000 and 2001 partially to the effects of the 1999 earthquake.

A statement from the Labor and Social Security Ministry on Monday said that people affected by the earthquake in Van will not be required to pay monthly premiums to Social Insurance for the Self-Employed (BAĞ-KUR) for one year.

Industry Minister Nihat Ergün had said on Monday that Turkey will provide support for small businesses affected by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake, which left some 450 dead. Ergün added that the Turkish state has enough resources to repair the damage.

Although there is no official estimate of the financial losses that will result from the quake, the government will spend hundreds of millions of dollars cleaning up and rebuilding settlements in the eastern province.



25 October 2011 Tuesday

Turkish hospital opens to save lives in Kazakhstan

The Sema Hospital, specializing in the treatment of heart disease, was officially inaugurated over the weekend in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan.

The Turkish hospital was available for surgical procedures six months ago, even though it had not been officially opened. The inauguration ceremony saw Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, his Kazakh counterpart, Aset O. Issekeshev, hospital officials and diplomats in attendance. The hospital officials announced at the opening that their plan is to serve 80 million people in the Central Asian region.

The Sema Hospital Group provided $10 million for the building of its new hospital, which is the largest private foreign investment in Kazakhstan’s health sector. The hospital measures 2,500 square meters and has departments of cardiology, neurology, internal medicine, cardiovascular surgery, general surgery, pediatric surgery, radiology and anesthesia as well as a department for ear, nose and throat treatment. The hospital is also one of the major hospitals for surgery in Kazakhstan and 150 surgical procedures have been carried out so far, 30 of them bypass surgeries. The hospital plans to conduct 3,000 physical examinations, 300 angiographies and 100 bypass operations every month and has made heart surgery a priority due to the high number of people suffering from heart disease in Kazakhstan.

Ruhi Toraman, the chief physician at Sema Hospital in Almaty, told the attendees at the opening that the hospital employs the latest in medical technology and that its goal is to give patients the best treatment possible in Kazakhstan. He said the Sema Hospital Group has plans to open more branches in the country and that the Sema Hospital in Almaty hopes to become a university hospital in the future.

A large number of people in Kazakhstan suffer from heart and coronary disease, according to Toraman, and 3,500 people in the country are currently on a waiting list for heart surgery, which shows the urgent need of a hospital that can provide such operations. “Since we are a private hospital, we are working on getting permission from the government to perform surgery on people who have government health insurance as well,” Toraman stated.

“The Sema Hospital Group has opened the way for the health sector in Central Asia, where more investments and cooperation between the countries is needed,” Toraman stated. According to Toraman, the existence of Turkish hospitals and schools is also attracting many Turkish businessmen to move to Kazakhstan, and these kinds of services also help them to convince their families as well.

Bozdağ commented on the excellent reputation Sema hospitals enjoy in Turkey and said, “I congratulate the administration for bringing the great services the hospital provides in Turkey to Kazakhstan, with whom we have strong historical and cultural ties.”

Mustafa Özcan, the CEO of the Sema Hospital Group, said at the opening that Turkish entrepreneurs started going to Kazakhstan after 1990 and that they have improved many things, especially education, in the country. “Our hospital aims to provide a service to all people living in the entire Central Asian region,” he stated, and added, “We want to share our experience with the people of Kazakhstan, and I thank everyone who has supported us.”





25 October 2011, Tuesday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL

Central Bank to try to get genie out of bottle

Turkish Central Bank is set to reveal a five-item plan today to defend lira and support price stability. Economists speculate on probable moves as one says the bank may announce a more flexible inflation rate goal
Shoppers are seen at a newly opened mall in the southern province of Hatay. The Central Bank warns about a chigh inflation risk. AA photo
Shoppers are seen at a newly opened mall in the southern province of Hatay. The Central Bank warns about a chigh inflation risk. AA photo

Turkish markets are anticipating a Central Bank decision today to address price stability and inflation risks on the heels of the Turkish Lira’s four consecutive days of growth against the U.S. dollar.

“We do not expect the bank to make a highly surprising move to alter the course of the currency, but [rather] a reiteration and determination to keep the volatility at manageable levels while avoiding a disorderly depreciation,” Gülbin Çakır of Morgan Stanley said in a note to investors. “The actions taken so far demonstrate that the Central Bank has the capacity and willingness to do this.”

Central Bank Gov. Erdem Başçı is expected to release his institution’s “five-item plan” sometime today.

Speculating on the bank’s likely actions, the Morgan Stanley report said a declaration of a “tightening bias” – a reiteration to tighten the amount of lira liquidity the bank provides to the system and change the lending rate on certain days – were possible.

“Moreover, the Central Bank might mention some of the planned (if any) regulatory actions that might give more balance sheet room to maneuver for banks. Equally important, the bank is likely to underscore the sufficiency of foreign exchange reserves and possibly mention some measures to fortify the level,” it said.

The Central Bank yesterday tightened liquidity in money markets via an auction of one-week repo as it sought to reduce the supply of liras.

The bank offered 12 billion liras of the repo, compared with the 15 billion liras due today from a week ago. The bank also lent 2.7 billion liras in overnight repo a day earlier that was repayable yesterday.

The bank may announce a more flexible inflation rate goal for a longer term, instead of a fixed target, according to Nurhan Toğuş, chief economist at Istanbul-based Ata Investment. “I expect the Central Bank decision will both strengthen the lira and pressure effective interest rates,” she told the Hürriyet Daily News during a phone interview yesterday.

Özgür Altuğ, chief economist at BGC Partners, said the bank was not close to increasing the policy rate or announcing that its new policy rate was an overnight lending rate instead of a one-week repo rate. “Cutting the lira liquidity will naturally force the banks to tap the overnight lending facility of the bank … it is more costly now,” he said.

Another option is a further lira squeeze, he added. “This commitment will make clear that the bank is keen on increasing the overall interest rates in the market, including the deposit and loan rates in order to make the lira more attractive and in order to slow down economic activity further,” he said.

The lira traded at around 1.8040 per U.S. dollar yesterday, up from 1.8170 a day earlier.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Turkey’s banks eye 10 pct growth in 2012

Aydın discussed the latest developments in the global and domestic finance markets with reporters on Monday in the southeastern province of Gaziantep.

Turkish Banks Association (TBB) Chairman Hüseyin Aydın has said the association supports a recently announced government medium-term economic program (OVP), noting that bankers anticipate about 10 percent growth in their assets next year, over 2011.

Aydın discussed the latest developments in the global and domestic finance markets with reporters on Monday in the southeastern province of Gaziantep. The OVP envisions achieving a lower public debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, along with a lower budget and current account deficit (CAD), while keeping the country’s economic growth at a sustainable 5 percent after 2012.

Recalling that there was a decline in the banks’ profits in the July-September period of this year, Aydın said they anticipate a 15 to 20 percent decline in profits for 2011 over the preceding year. “Indices for the ninth month show that this year’s decline in profitability will be no less than 15 percent.

We know people’s savings in Turkey are weak, but Turkish banks have done well in receiving their debts and can control their balance of payments; this is good for us,” he explained. Underlining that Turkish banks are happy with the government’s plan for economic growth, Aydın said the banks’ loan growth parallels the growth in non-financial markets.

‘EU will open loan taps again once debt crisis is dealt with’

Asked whether the ongoing problems in global money markets are making it difficult for Turkish banks to find enough foreign loans, Aydın said banks in Turkey took the necessary measures to prepare for this ahead of time. “Problems such as not being able to receive as much in loans as you used to from foreign sources can occur in times of crisis.

Europe is one of these troubled markets; but our banks were well-prepared for this crisis and have received some syndicated loans from international financial institutions before things got even worse,” he noted. Aydın also said that some Turkish banks which signed loan agreements with EU banks prior to the current debt crisis had renewed their contracts. As the crisis spreads, and with it the risk of borrower default across multiple lenders, syndicated loans are seen as life vests that help banks stay afloat in times of financial turbulence.

Aydın said Turkish banks could still find ways to receive “affordable” loans from EU sources, adding that the Central Bank of Turkey has done its best to provide liquidity to finance markets. “We have faith that the EU’s financial institutions will open the loan taps to Turkish borrowers, once they clear up the uncertainties in their own markets and weather some external risks,” he highlighted.

“Look, we have never used the term ‘crisis’ to describe the Turkish banking industry, while some of world’s leading finance institutions have been victims of the global financial turmoil of the past three years. Today you see credit ratings being downgraded at most banks in developed economies.

The average capital adequacy ratio of most Turkish banks is at 16 percent, while return on equity is around 15 percent, far better figures than those of most Western banks,” he explained. According to Aydın, Turkish banks will maintain their successful performance through 2012 as well. The TBB head said loans extended by Turkish banks in the first nine months of 2011 totaled $363.3 billion (TL 668 billion), some 60 percent of total assets. “This is a clear indicator of our banks’ commitment to provide as many loans as they can to Turkish companies.”

Mentioning the current devaluation of the Turkish lira against foreign currencies, Aydın said the TBB expects to see stability in the markets in the medium-term, and attributed the current fluctuations to external shocks. “We are monitoring the measures taken by the government and the central bank to maintain stability closely. The TBB is also doing its part to help these efforts yield fruit,” he said. He also touted “proactive steps” by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) in this regard.

Early this year, the government announced that it had set a target of increasing bank loans by as much as 20-25 percent for 2011, as part of a set of measures designed to avoid a further overheating of the economy. Following this decision, in June the BDDK raised its provisioning and risk-weight requirements for unsecured consumer loans in an attempt to tame loan growth. The pressure this placed on banks received criticism, until Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan announced last month that the government would “keep off the banks’ backs” regarding loan growth this year.


24 October 2011 Monday




Turkish c.bank steps in as Lira weakening

Erdem Basci said he would announce “a five-step action plan” on Wednesday which he said would “strengthen lira significantly.”

Turkish Central Bank governor on Monday said the bank was set to announce a package of measures to ward off further devaluation of the Turkish currency against US. dollar.

Erdem Basci said he would announce “a five-step action plan” on Wednesday which he said would “strengthen lira significantly.”

Basci said the package would include measures regarding price stability, policy rates, foreign currency reserve policy, required reserve ratios and financial stability.

24 October 2011 Monday


Trade with Iran might hit $15 bln, envoy says

Turkey’s bilateral trade with its eastern neighbor Iran will reach $15 billion this year, according to Iranian Ambassador to Turkey Bahman Hosseinpour, speaking to state-run Press TV news channel, according to a Bloomberg report yesterday.

The value of goods and services traded between the two countries totaled $10.6 billion during the first eight months of 2011, Hosseinpour said in the report.

Iran gains access to world markets via Turkish companies despite sanctions by the United States. The total number of the Iranian firms in Turkey reached 1,470 by the end the last year. This figure was 319 between 1954 and 2002. Bilateral trade between Turkey and Iran reached $10.55 billion by the end of September, according to Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) data.

Turkey exported $8.22 billion to Iran in the first nine months of the year, meanwhile imports from Iran reached $2.33 billion.

Turkey plans to erect new border gates with its eastern neighbors Iran and Georgia due to the increase in trade with these countries.

Sunday, October 23, 2011
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News