Turkish EU bid wins OECD endorsement

PARIS (AP) – Turkey won an important endorsement yesterday in its bid to join the European Union, with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issuing a report praising Ankara for recent economic strides. EU leaders are to decide in December whether entry talks should start with Ankara, and one of the conditions set by the European Commission for negotiations is that Turkey must have a functioning market economy. The mostly Muslim nation appears on course for doing so, according to the Paris-based OECD. Turkey is one of the organization’s 30 member countries. Turkey’s economic performance «can only be described as stunning in terms of the turnaround from 2001 to the present,» said OECD head Donald J. Johnston. «It is in the interests of Turkey and the EU that Turkey should become a member of the EU.» OECD official Andrew Dean, who helped draft the report, said Turkey could follow a «stronger and sustainable job-rich path» if it keeps up the pace of its current reform drive. In its 180-page survey, the OECD called on Turkey to improve public services and spending controls, boost privatization and revamp its tax system to rein in the country’s massive black market.