'Turkish government working on anti-corruption reform'

The government is working on an anti-corruption reform, the Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said yesterday, continuing his mission to soothe investors’ concerns regarding political transparency and stability in Turkey.

“We will use recent developments as an opportunity,” Şimşek said, speaking at the Housing Tax Problems and Solutions Symposium held in 
Ankara yesterday. “It is clear we will appear before our nation with a much stronger reform for Turkey to become more transparent, more accountable, particularly in the fight against corruption.”

The corruption allegations against scores of government-allied businessmen and bureaucrats, including four ministers, their sons and the CEO of a state-owned bank, are feared to have stained the country’s image for investors. 

The graft probe launched Dec. 17 has also turned the government against the police department and judiciary branch, raising major concerns over the political stability of the country.

The Turkish Lira has also been devastated by both the political problems, as well as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to curb its bond purchasing program, with investors worried that the country may struggle to cure its large current account deficit under the strained circumstances.

However, in his remarks yesterday, Şimşek said Turkey’s current account deficit may contract more than expected in 2014.

He said a moderate rise in domestic demand, a rise in foreign demand, the devaluation of the lira, as well as the macro-prudential measures taken, would have a considerable impact on the deficit.

Hürriyet

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