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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Post Editorial:Why does debt-ridden Turkey want to join EU?

"Why does debt-ridden Turkey want to join EU?
I wrote an article in the past entitled 'Turkey's bid to join EU greeted with a cold embrace by many member nations.' In my article, I quoted National Public Radio (NPR)'s Marketplace news program on Turkey's bid to join the EU. The correspondent from London had mentioned that the GDP of Turkey is about one-tenth that of the average GDP of Euro-15 (fifteen nations included in the EU). My critics have pointed out that I erred a big time and the real GDP of Turkey is about one-third that of the EU nations. Dr. Habib Siddiqui also wrote a rejoinder in the NFB Readers' Opinion column pointing out that the GDP comparison that I made was wrong and it should be one-third that of the EU nations. His source of information is CIA World book or something like that. I started pondering why is it that the NPR correspondent who makes a living as a financial reporter would make such a blunder. Therefore, I started probing the nominal GDP figure of Turkey in the databank provided by various credible sources such as World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), etc. And I am glad that I did it. There is no one GDP number that economists will agree. The GDP figure depends on who collects and interprets the data. I have to say this much that most economists will agree that World Bank's data are as good as they come. "

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