Turkish PM unveils investment plan for south east

NTV MSNBC - Türkiye’s Prime Minister has unveiled a $20 million program to complete a massive infrastructure project in the country’s south east intended to invigorate the region’s economy. Under the plans announced by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the city of Diyarbakir last week, a series of dams, power stations and irrigation networks of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) are to be completed by around 2012. According to Erdogan in his address announcing the plans, the scheme will eliminate the economic and social differences between the south east region and other provinces of Türkiye. It is proposed that part of the funding for the project will come from Türkiye’s unemployment insurance fund, and public and private sector joint projects, with an estimated $12 billion to come from the central budget. Erdogan said the project would end unemployment in the region, provide enough water irrigate 1.8 million hectares of land and generate 27 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. According to the Prime Minister, when completed the GAP will result in per capita income rising by 209 percent.