Bloomberg TV

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Bloomberg TV – Interview with President Abdullah Gül

Bloomberg TV: Well who better to discuss of course Turkeys Challenges and opportunities with then the Countries President Mr. Abdullah Gül?  Thank you so much for joining us. I want to ask you about the economic route because of course one of the big concerns is how can you sustain such amazing figures without overheating? Are you confident that everything has been done by the government today to continue the trend that we have been seen this year?

President Gül: Yes I believe this, we have being applying correct the policies. The proof is very clear during the economical global crisis Turkish economy was not shaken as others. And the Turkish banking system proved itself that it is very strong. We did not put a single penny in the banking system, there was no bailout. So, I think this was the clear cut indicator that the system is going very well.

Bloomberg TV: But President, we are looking at the G20 by the end of the week and so and we talk so much about global imbalances about the fact that the cheap dollar will hurt most countries including yourself.

President Gül: Maybe from time to time yes, that’s true, but there is the free market system and the market will decide for that. Of course the Central Bank is monitoring very closely if there is any need definitely they will take some actions. But the system is working, we trust the system and it proved itself that if you don’t intervene artificially, so it goes well. 

Bloomberg TV: So you are saying that the Central Bank for the moment is just looking at it without actually intervening or doing anything, but going forward are you concerned about answer that is something that we are talking about a lot on Bloomberg in regards to certain sectors. Are you concern that this may happen in your country?

President Gül: I trust our Central Bank, our independent bodies, they are observing everything very carefully and they are well aware of that and I am sure if there is a need they will take the necessary action.  

Bloomberg TV: President, what about your talk, I mean we have this report coming out of the European Union later today. How much of a setback is it if you cannot join the European Union within the next, you know,  10th-15 years because you are doing pretty well, why not focus on the Middle East instead of trying to join the EU, which is, you now we are seeing so many concerns regarding that block.  

President Gül: Well, Turkey is doing well as you said and we are very much determent to complete successful the negotiation process, but it is certain that there are some artificial problems, artificial obstacles in front of us. At the end, it is up to the EU side so they have to think if Turkey is going to be an asset for EU or not, you see. And also they have to think that if they are going to honor their promises or not to Turkey.

Bloomberg TV: President, the EU does have to look at whether it is an asset, but do you not have to look at the European Union you would basically be locked if you then joined the Euro, you know years from now, decades from  now into a system which we have seen the failings in the last couple of year. Are you not concerned about this?

President Gül: We are not; I mean one should not forget that we are the full member of the European Customs Union since 15 years you see. We are a unique country, the only country who had joined the Custom Union before being a full member. Some full member countries were recently became the member of the Customs Union and it worked very well. Our companies are very comfortable to compete with the German, French, Italian companies.

Bloomberg TV: Now, Turkey is also looking to change the constitution, what changes would you want?

President Gül: The current constitution was written in the 1980’s and it carries those years’ conditions. Now we are a negotiating country, now Turkey is democratically is an inspiring country in the region so we want to have better Constitution more parallel to the EU acquies.

Bloomberg TV: So, strengthening the executive, for example in the US style constitution?

President Gül: I mean a kind of constitution carries all the details, maybe we need the main issues there, not the details and more freedom of course, more right for the individuals, more right for the private sectors.

Bloomberg TV: President, if Israel or the US decides to strike at around nuclear facilities, where would you stand on this?

President Gül: It is very clear, we are against all the weapons of mass destruction, in the region. And we want to solve this problem in a peaceful way, in a diplomatic way. And Turkey has the capacity to contribute this problem that is what we have been doing.

Bloomberg TV: So, Turkey would have a response for example if we find out that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon?

President Gül: We don’t want to see any neighboring country with nuclear power. Of course I cannot accuse Iran that they are doing this, but they have to be more transparent in order to convince the International community.

Bloomberg TV: Of coming together, and of talks, this is something that is more and more urgent in your eyes?

President Gül: It is important of course, I think very important meeting is going to take place soon between P 5 + 1 and Iran and I think that it will take place in Turkey.

Bloomberg TV: President Gül, what is your biggest concern for this year? We talked about the economy, we talked about, you know issues with the EU. Is there anything that keeps you up at night?

President Gül: Well, the economy is the first thing of course. If you don’t have a strong economy, if you don’t have a good future that you will not be successful in other issues also. So, as far as  the affect of the crisis still fails, you have to be all careful.

Bloomberg TV: So, is your number one priority at the moment is trying to get unemployment down in your country because we are seeing growth, we are seeing investments?

President Gül: Yes, yes, of course definitely, if there are people looking for job you have to meet their need you see. So, that’s the first. But we have confidence in us. The economic growth is going on and I am sure that the next year also it will continue the same trend, so the future is bright.

Bloomberg TV: President Gül, optimistic you there, the President of Turkey, thank you so much for joining us.

Abdullah Gül: Thank you.

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