ADDS JUSTICE MINISTER'S REMARKS
By Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey will take care to support sectors focused on exports and value-added production, the country’s finance and treasury minister said Wednesday.
In his 2020 budget speech to parliament, Berat Albayrak said Turkey's exports have not fallen despite the contraction of global trade.
Turkey has supported domestic production and resources to reduce the country’s imports, said Albayrak.
"In the coming days, we will continue to take care to support sectors based on exports and value-added production," he added.
Following contractions of 2.3% and 1.6%, respectively, in the first two quarters of 2019, Turkey's economy grew 0.9% on year in the third quarter, according to the country's statistical authority.
In 2018, the economy posted annual growth of 2.8%, narrowing in the last quarter.
The country's economic program for 2020-2022, unveiled on Sept. 30, targets a 5% annual growth rate for each of the next three years.
Albayrak noted that the move of Turkey's central bank to Istanbul would be completed in 2022.
Also speaking to parliament, Turkey’s defense minister criticized the U.S.’s attitude towards Turkey on F-35 fighter jets.
"If we are excluded from the F-35 project unfairly and contrary to the spirit of strategic partnership due to the S-400 purchase, we are naturally obliged to embark on another quest to fulfill our needs," said Hulusi Akar.
In July, the U.S. suspended Turkey’s involvement in a program for F-35 fighter jets, saying its purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system could endanger the aircraft, a claim Turkey has consistently denied.
Turkey produces parts for the F-35 and is a partner in the jet program. It warned that any effort to remove it from the production chain would be very costly.
It has also said that it might pursue alternatives to the F-35.
Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul, meanwhile, said the country’s justice system has engaged in important struggles against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) since the defeated coup in 2016.
The fight against FETO is important not only for peace in the country but also the respectability and independence of the justice system, Gul said.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.