Slowing sharply from 6.7% in the first three months of the year, the Turkish economy grew 1.9% in the second quarter, official figures showed on Sept. 10.
Turkey has been one of the strongest economies in the region in recent years, having grown 9.4% in 2004, 8.4% in 2005 and 6.9% in 2006 under IMF-backed recovery programs in the wake of two severe financial crises.
In 2007, growth slowed, however, to 4.6% and prospects have worsened this year amid global financial turmoil and political tensions at home where the ruling Justice and Development Party narrowly escaped being outlawed for anti-secular activities in July.
Since May, the Central Bank has hiked interest rates three times to 16.75% as inflation picked up to well above the government's target to exceed 11% in August.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008