Invest News DetailToday’s Zaman - The Istanbul Development Agency, was established last week and set a target to commit itself to make Istanbul a financial hub for a region spanning from the Middle East to the Balkans. Speaking in a ceremony to mark the establishment of the agency, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Nazim Ekren said the agency's initial task would be to ensure Istanbul's role as a finance hub in its region and to conduct a survey of the Istanbul metropolitan area. Istanbul is the backbone of the Turkish economy and home to more than 12 million people. It accounts for nearly 40 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and one-third of its annual exports. It also hosts the headquarters of all major players of the Turkish financial sector. There will be 26 development agencies throughout Turkey, the minister said, adding that details will be disclosed by January or February of the next year.