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Foreign circles uncomfortable with Turkey's growth

Turkey's economy minister blamed 'foreign circles' for trying to undermine country's progress in Gezi Park protests

Foreign circles uncomfortable with Turkey's growth

MERSIN (AA) - Turkey's Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said Wednesday "foreign circles" were uncomfortable with the progress the country had made in the past decade, adding that same circles were to blame for what started as protests against development plans on a green area in central Istanbul but turned into anti-government protests in major Turkish cities in the past two weeks.   

"This is totally an attempt to create a foreign hegemony on Turkey but we are no fools. We have taken the wind out of their sails," Caglayan said in a meeting in the western port city of Mersin. 

Caglayan reminded similar incidents has happened before in Turkey, adding, "some had tried to derail our political and economic stability. For sure, interest rate lobbies and their jobbers are troubled. Our prime minister has declared that the interest rate lobbies had seized $1.5 trillion from Turkey in past thirty years," Caglayan said. 

He added Turkey's econmy achieved a growth rate of 3% in the first quarter, stressing, "we became the third fastest growing economy in Europe. Besides, we became the second biggest after China in G-20. All of these achievements upset some groups."

Caglayan said Mersin ranked 13th among the provinces in Turkey exporting from the port of Mersin, adding in the first quarter of 2013 exports have increased 8.4 percent and they wanted to raise Mersin's export volume to $1.5 billion in 2013 and at least to $10 billion in 2023.    

Caglayan also said they laid the foundations of Cukurova regional airport which will be the second biggest airport in Turkey with a capacity of 30 million passengers along with cargo shipping.

Caglayan said housing facilities to accommodate participants of the 17th Mediterranean Games, which will be held in 2014 in Mersin, will have a capacity to host 15 thousand people, adding that when the project is fully completed, it will make great contributions to the region's tourism.

"Mersin will be a center of both golf and congress tourism with this project and a place for football clubs to train. Five investors will spend about $500 million on the project," he added.

Caglayan said Mersin port ranked 97th amongst the top 120 container ports around the world and with new investments the port would be enlarged and to rival ports such as Singapore, Shanghai and Dubai ports.

"The biggest ship in the world will be able to dock at Mersin port when a new wharf worth of $130 million is completed in 2014," he added.

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