“Greeks will start begging soon” says Turkish State Minister

In a speech praising the high economic growth in Turkey in 2010, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said “Greeks will start begging soon to survive.”

Bulent Arinc spoke at an inauguration ceremony at Urfa in Southeast Turkey: “In 2010 Turkish economy scored a 9% growth rate. This is an incredible result. Due to the global crisis countries in America and Europe are in debt, government changes occurred in Spain and Portugal. Salaries could not be paid, collective bargaining agreements are on hold, our neighbor Greece has national debt of one trillion dollars. They are in the brink of begging for money, all factories ceased production, they want to sell them but no one wants to buy. Turkey is among five countries in the World by reaching 9% growth late. This is the success of our people.”

Mr. Arinc is currently Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister in Turkey (AKP) and known for his provocative comments on various issues. Several court cases were filed against him because of his remarks towards institutions as well as individuals. However, in Turkey there is full legal immunity for members of the parliament.

Turkey has declared 2010 economic growth rate as 8,9% recently. It was the country’s first positive growth rate since 2007. Last year Turkey scored a -4,8%. Critics claim that this year’s figure is manipulated to help the governing party at the incoming elections in June 12, 2011.



  1. Growth cannot be manipulated. It’s is calculated with the provision of World Bank and other exclusive finance foundations. The other wrong information in the article is that, “It was the country’s first positive growth rate since 2007”. Here the list of growt rates in last five years:

    (2010 8.9%)
    (2009 -4.7%)
    (2008 1.1%)
    (2007 4.5%)
    (2006 6.1%)
    (2006 7.6%)

    Referenced from CIA factbook, http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=518

    So as it’s seen only one year, in 2009, Turkey had negative growth, when global crisis severely affected whole world.

    thank you

  2. The data from CIA factbook contradict with official Turkish figures ( http://www.tuik.gov.tr/Gosterge.do?metod=IlgiliGosterge&sayfa=giris&id=3507 ) If you study the graph on that page, you will understand what I mean by since 2007 and as you will see there is also a discrepancy between several published figures and certain “critics” in Turkey has expressed their mistrust in official figures. The article simply reflects that fact.

    Thank you for your comments.

  3. You’re manipulating people with this article and this comment. In CIA factbook too, just 2009 has negative growth rate, it is not as you stated in the article from 2007 to today.

    You can see here in more detail with the charts yearly growth rates:

    If you claim something in an article, you should give exact figures with their references. Don’t talk through one’s hat please.

    Thank you.

  4. Dear Baris,

    I have given exact figures from Turkish Statistical Institute’s charts. As I said before different sets of figures display different rates, a fact you insistently ignore.

    Furthermore I did not state growth rate was “consistently negative”. I have stated “first positive growth” since 2007. If you want to understand the meaning of that phrase, just look at the quarterly figures you have posted above and accrue the rates after 2007 until the first quarter of 2010, you’ll see my meaning.

    Second, this discussion undermines the point made in the article, and ends here for me.
    Thanks for your interest and comments.

  5. I’m senior computer engineer and academician dear Στράτος. So, I’m very well with figures and calculating the statistics and what the phrases mean. On the other hand, I’m not well with people who manipulate the data and facts.

    YOUR STATEMENT: “first positive growth” since 2007
    It means;
    – at the end of 2007, it is zero or negative
    – at the end of 2008, it is zero or negative
    – at the end of 2009, it is zero or negative

    However it’s not like that. Please if you are not able to look at graphs, dont comment on in. So, in the graphs:
    – at the end of 2007, growth rate is: 4.5 % (You should take effective sum of four quarters) – POSITIVE
    – at the end of 2008, growth rate is: 1.1 % POSITIVE
    – at the end of 2009, growth rate is: -4.7 % NEGATIVE

    So, your statement is absolutely wrong.

    Also your last statement “Critics claim that this year’s figure is manipulated to help the governing party at the incoming elections in June 12, 2011”, who are the critics?

    GDP Growth Rate is not something governments make out. It’s an international standard and calculated with internationally valid data. If we live in a world as you dreamed, most of countries would manipulate their growth rate to get more foreigner investment. I’m sorry it’s not like that.

    Last thing, last paragraph and the point the article makes is completely unrelated. If you want to emphasize your point, you should put it in conclusion paragraph.

    end of discussion, thank you.

  6. I’m Turkish and I like this deputy prime minister. But I found his remark “Greeks will start soon begging to survive” very ugly. One has to take a note of this old Turkish saying: Gulme komsuna gelir basina “Don’t laugh at your neighbour, it can happen to you”

    Talking heads of the European Union, world media, credit agencies, etc. have been bombarding the markets “at times conflicting each other” in such a manner that make me
    feel disgusted. I understand how greek people feel. My sympathy to them.

    Talented and energetic Papandreou and his team are coping the lot “I wouldn’t like to be in their shoes”. They’ll sort things up, don’t worry enjoy the Mediterranean Sun.

  7. This article has a negative and misleading tone that intends to give a different message than what the Turkish minister said. What he meant here was that Turkey’s economic success is more valuable in a time when many other countries are in economic distress. In contrary to what this article suggests, he didn’t target or mean anything hostile to Greek people.

    The author’s negative tone is apparent throughout the article and puts his objectivity in question.

  8. I’m Turkish and Turks will start begging soon..There is no economic growth in Turkey. 49bnUSD current deficit and still increasing !!!!!!!!!!!!…… 53bnUSD foreign investment. However 42bnUSD, 80pc of this investment is just “hot money”..thanks to FED Bernanke’s low rates and money printing. This money is coming Turkey ONLY for higher rates,it means bloodsucker.Crisis are the reason of wild capitalism of the West.How about German banks?? ..We’ll never forget Good Samaritan Greece’s help at 99’Earthquake.

  9. Madi dide it is funny to compare turkey and greece. 10 million greece have 50% from GDP of 75 million turks.Greece is other planet for poor turks. DATA from CIA:


    GDP (official exchange rate):

    $302 billion (2010 est.)

    GDP – per capita (PPP):

    $30,200 (2010 est.)


    GDP (official exchange rate):

    $729.1 billion (2010 est.)

    GDP – per capita (PPP):

    $12,300 (2010 est.)




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