Economy Minister Simsek: ''Turkey better able to weather global turmoil''

Reuters - Turkish Economy Minister Mehmet Simsek said Turkey was better equipped to weather the current global market turmoil than it was in the past, state-run Anatolian news agency reported on Thursday. "We carried out considerable reforms in recent years and made (Turkey) more sturdy against such shocks," Simsek said in an interview with the agency at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. The Turkish economy has grown strongly since a 2001 financial crisis and inflation has tumbled to single-digits under an International Monetary Fund-backed program. "This does not mean that Turkey will not be affected if there is a storm blowing abroad. But Turkey is standing on much healthier and stronger foundations than in the past," he said. The minister said it was too early to say whether Turkey would have achieved its target growth of 5 percent this year given global uncertainties, which created risks for some economic targets. Simsek said the European Union-applicant country's potential growth was not below 6-7 percent and he believed Turkey would comfortably achieve these rates in the medium-term.