Press Conference held by President Erdoğan at the G20 Antalya Summit


Distinguished members of the press,

I would like to greet and welcome you with affection and respect.

We are holding this press conference to share with you the outcomes of the G20 Antalya Leaders’ Summit.

We had taken over G20 Presidency from Australia on 1 December 2014. By the Leaders’ Summit which we held yesterday and today in Antalya, we have successfully concluded it.

I believe that the Final Declaration of Antalya Summit is a significant document which will shape the upcoming work of G20.

We are handing over the G20 Presidency to the People’s Republic of China for the year 2016.

We, as world Leaders, have been of course profoundly saddened by the terrorist attacks which occurred in Paris on Friday night, prior to our Summit.

By this occasion, I declare once again that I fiercely condemn the terrorist attacks in Paris and we share the sorrows of our French friends.

In our first meeting yesterday, we stood in one-minute homage as G20 Leaders for everyone who lost their lives, from Beirut to Baghdad and from Ankara to Paris.

One of the most notable outcomes of 2015 Antalya Summit has been perhaps the stance that the G20 countries representing a greater part of the world economy and population have taken concerning the fight against terrorism.

Distinguished members of the press,

I have been attending G20 Summits since 2008.

I have emphasized right from the beginning a certain point.

We cannot talk about a strong global economy unless we ensure global peace and stability.

Therefore, G20 cannot have the luxury to ignore the issues directly affecting the global stability.

With this understanding, we addressed, apart from financial issues, terrorism and refugee crisis.

Turkey, as a country that has been confronted with its grave consequences since 1970s, knows very well what terrorism means.

We are ready to fulfil all our responsibilities to support international collaboration in the fight against terrorism.

This struggle necessitates a wholehearted international collaboration and solidarity.

This Communiqué that we have agreed as the G20 Leaders regarding the fight against terrorism is significant in the sense that it clearly demonstrates our determination in this regard.

Terrorism has no faith, origin or country.

Associating terrorism with any religion is extremely wrong and such an attitude is the greatest insult for the members of that religion.

For the right to live is sacred for all religions.

Inspired by our history, we articulate this understanding as “Let people live so that the State could live”.

We should decisively fight against this threat without making any distinction among terrorist organisations.

For us, everyone, every country that makes a distinction among these organisations falls into a grave error in the fight against terrorism.

We will go on fighting against the terrorist organisation DAESH as much as we fight against other terrorist organisations such as Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, PKK, PYD, YPG, and DHKP-C, and with the same determination.

We need to take decisive and concrete steps also in international arena, in order to ensure an effective collaboration against terrorist organisations.

We have confirmed as the G20 Leaders that we are in agreement to fight against terrorist organisations without making any distinction.

Especially, as Muslim Leaders represented in the G20 we have considered our common responsibilities against the violence and atrocities of DAESH terrorist organisation, which has nothing to do with Islam.

Distinguished members of the press,

We are closely affected by the conflicts and instabilities occurring in our region and various parts of the world.

Ungovernable countries have emerged all around us.

Syria is in the forefront in this regard.

As a neighbouring country with close ties with its people, we have been deeply feeling the effects of the tragedy played out in Syria.

As of today Turkey accommodates 2.5 million refugees in total, out of which Syrians are 2.2 million and Iraqis 300,000.

We have opened our doors to all these victims without making any distinction on the basis of their beliefs or origins.

This attitude is after all a humanitarian duty incumbent on us.

However, the problem which we are facing now is unprecedented and has already exceeded the scale which a country could overcome by itself.

In fact, the problem is deepening due to the weakening of the hopes of these people who have left their homes and countries to return one day.

It is not possible to overcome the problems, especially refugees and terrorism, arising from this region without agreeing on a solution in Syria which is accepted by everyone living in the country.

International community should act in this regard in a spirit of effective collaboration, burden-sharing and a wholehearted solidarity.

We regard the progress achieved in Vienna Talks on Saturday as a promising step taken towards the solution of the problem.

The issues negotiated in Vienna will be discussed in detail in the upcoming days.

Primary targets of this process are to maintain Syria’s territorial integrity, eliminate terrorism and create a pluralistic, democratic and legitimate political structure in the country.

Assad who have been butchering his own people has no place in Syria’s future.

Assad lost this chance long time ago.

We should remember that Syrian refugees are escaping from DAESH as well as from the state terror of Assad regime.

As the G20 Leaders, we have declared that we would make further efforts to help these refugees whose number exceeds the total number of many European countries’ populations.

We consider linking terrorist acts with refugees as an effort to evade humanitarian responsibilities.

We should carry out both the fight against terrorism and the efforts to find a way out for the refugee crisis hand in hand.

We should display a wholehearted solidarity in overcoming this humanitarian crisis.

I believe that we should serve as a model to the world in this regard, as the G20.

The steps to be taken in Syria in terms of human security should be carried into effect as soon as possible.

If we achieve that, we will strengthen the hopes of the whole humanity for a better future.

This is a target for us as significant as the “strong, sustainable and balanced growth”.

We can do this together.
Distinguished members of the press,

We had a really busy global agenda in 2015.

Most of the problems we are faced with require collaboration on a global scale.

In this regard, the G20 platform offers a significant opportunity not only for member countries but also for the whole world.

We, in the course of our Presidency, tried to highlight and strengthen this feature of the G20.

As the 2015 President, we have defined our priorities under three fundamental concepts: “INCLUSIVENESS”, “IMPLEMENTATION” and “INVESTMENT”.

As the G20, our objective is to ensure strong, sustainable and balanced, and starting with this year, inclusive global growth.

Inclusiveness is significant to create quality employment for more people, raise living standards, eliminate inequalities and spread prosperity.

While highlighting this principle, we aimed that all segments of the society, particularly women and youth, receive a larger share of the economic growth.

Unemployment rate among youth is a serious problem for many G20 countries.

We agreed for the first time on a quantitative target for this problem, which has been on our agenda for a long time.

Accordingly, we agreed to reduce the share of young people who are at most risk of being permanently left behind in the labour market by %15 by 2025.

Last year, we had agreed to reducing the gap in labour force participation rates between women and men by 25% until 2025.

We took various steps during our Presidency in this direction.

The most prominent of these  is the establishment of the WOMEN-20 as the 6th engagement group in addition to 5 engagement groups of the G20.

We, as G20 Leaders, have acknowledged this year for the first time that rising inequalities in many countries affect economic growth as well as social stability adversely.

We also came to terms on political priorities to be followed in fighting inequalities.

As is known, global growth is less than expected this year.

While a partial recovery is observed in developed countries, developing countries have begun to have indications of slowdown.

As the Leaders, we evaluated this outlook of global economy and discussed the measures to be taken.

Distinguished members of the press,

We concentrated on 5 matters in particular among the fundamental challenges affecting the global economy.

First of these is the decrease in commodity prices, particularly in oil prices.

Effects of this situation, which yields favourable results with regard to global economy in general, vary among countries.

The second one is the slowdown in capital flows to developing countries.

The third one is the slowdown in global trade, which poses a serious obstacle to growth.

The fourth one is the fluctuation in the financial markets caused by sharp moves in exchange rates.

The fifth one is the ongoing geopolitical risks.

We evaluated all these five matters in detail.

In addition, we focused on the effects of the increase in interest rates in the United States of America on global economy.

We underlined that it is required to carefully follow probable repercussions of this situation on developing countries and its impact on financial markets.

As the Leaders, we emphasized that structural reforms should be supported with macroeconomic policies.

In this scope, we evaluated the importance of continued support of central banks of developed countries for the economy.

Likewise, we noted that public finance policies should support growth and employment, without undermining long-term stability.

Distinguished members of the press,

We agreed in the Summit that growth strategies should be carried out efficiently.

We, as the Turkish G20 Presidency, said that “it is time to act rather than talk”.

With this understanding, we created a comprehensive and strong monitoring mechanism in order to fulfil the commitments.

Thus, we will be able to monitor efficiently the fulfilment of the commitments within the scope of growth strategies in order to reach the additional growth target of 2.1% by 2018.

We have already fulfilled almost half of the commitments.

It is reckoned that this progress will contribute at the rate of 8 per thousand to the total output of the G20.

In the Antalya Action Plan that we adopted as the Leaders, you can find updated growth strategies, implementation schedules and accountability report, which was prepared for the first time this year.

Distinguished members of the press,

One of the important challenges in recent years is the recession in investments.

During the Summit, I welcomed that we achieved consensus with regard to the need for invigorating investments in order to reach our growth target.

In this framework, G20 countries prepared concrete and comprehensive investment strategies.

These strategies focus on the following;

-Improving investment climate,

-Fostering efficient infrastructure investments and SMEs,

-Supporting long-term finance opportunities for infrastructure investments.

It is reckoned that implementation of these investment strategies will increase the volume of investments by about 4.4 trillion US Dollars at global level by the end of 2018.

We know that we cannot meet the need for infrastructure investments just with public funding.

In this respect, establishing efficient cooperation between public and private sector is of high importance.

We should turn the dynamism of private sector and the approach of public sector of considering the social needs into an efficient cooperation.

As Turkey, we and some other G20 members have a significant experience for the implementation of Public-Private Partnership models.

In the Summit meeting, we agreed to maintain our efforts in order to make Public-Private Partnership models more efficient relying on this experience.

We believe that Islamic Finance should also be put on the agenda within the scope of alternative financing instruments.

Policies for national and international actors have been proposed with regard to integrating Islamic Finance into the global financial system.

Supporting SMEs is also critically important to achieve economic growth, create employment and invigorate investments.

Currently, SMEs are disadvantaged in access to finance and integration into global trade system when compared to big companies.

For this reason, we think it is necessary to take the steps which will facilitate the access of SMEs to finance.

Distinguished members of the press,

The most important role undertaken by the G20 after the 2008 global crisis is to increase resilience of global financial markets.

We have made a great progress in this field.

We have already established a solid regulatory framework in order to prevent banking and insurance companies, the most important actors of our financial systems, from causing a crisis.

We will maintain our efforts in order to implement reforms in this field in a thorough and committed way in the upcoming period.

Another field in which we have made great progress in 2015 is international taxation.

We have been exerting great effort for 2 years in order to ensure international justice in taxation and bring out a reform that will catch up with the era.

During our Presidency, we completed the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, which was carried out by the G20 together with the OECD.

This is a significant success for the G20 and world economies.

We, the Leaders, agreed on the importance of the participation of a wide group in the BEPS in line with the emphasis of our G20 Presidency on inclusiveness.

In addition, we reviewed the work on increasing tax transparency.

Distinguished members of the press,

2015 has been an extremely busy and critical year for the global development agenda.

Financing of the development was discussed at the Financing for Development Conference held in July in Ethiopia.

In this meeting, we agreed on the ADDIS ABABA ACTION AGENDA.

We adopted SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA 2030 at the UN Summit held in New York in September and agreed upon a set of goals.

Important responsibilities fall on the members of the G20 for the implementation of these goals.

As the G20 Turkish Presidency, we persistently emphasized the following point when we highlighted inclusiveness:

Our goal is to increase our dialogue and cooperation with the non-G20 countries, especially low income developing countries, in addition to ensuring more inclusive growth across G20 members.

The G20 is not a club of the rich.

We represent not only the nations that achieved a certain level of prosperity but also the countries that continue their efforts towards development.

As the representatives of the leading advanced and emerging economies of the world, we also understand the situation of the low income developing countries.

Therefore, we must have a say at this point.

With this understanding, we agreed to restructure G20’s agenda on development to support the 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

I would like to underline that as a country that built its cultural and civilizational values on justice, we will continue to persistently defend the principle of inclusiveness.

Distinguished members of the press,

This year we highlighted in our agenda:

– Food Safety,

– Private sector’s role in development,

– Remittances, a major source of revenue for many developing countries.

For the first time, we included reducing food loss and food waste, which is a global problem, in the G20 agenda.

This year, our Ministers of Agriculture held their second meeting in the history of the G20.

In this meeting, Ministers underlined the importance of global food security for sustainable development .

As the Leaders, we also called on to strengthen the role of the private sector in development.

We also promised more concrete steps to reduce average cost of  transferring remittances to 5 percent.

These were not the only contributions of our Presidency.

We included the issue of increasing access to energy particularly in Africa, during the first G20 Energy Ministers Meeting organized under Turkish G20 Presidency.

We aimed to create a synergy in this regard by bringing Energy Ministers of the G20 together with their African counterparts and relevant international organizations.

“G20 Energy Access Action Plan” adopted by the Leaders offers a comprehensive framework not only for Africa but also for other regions.

As the G20 countries, we discussed the issue of providing support to 1.1 billion people worldwide without access to electricity.

We believe that such initiatives strengthen the role of G20 as a versatile global platform.

Distinguished members of the press,

We, the Leaders, discussed climate change, an important factor for sustainable development, in detail.

I will go to Paris to attend the Paris Climate Conference at the end of this month on the invitation of President Hollande of France.

This is a complex and multidimensional issue that we need to urgently address.

Developing countries should be supported to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

At this point, a particularly important responsibility falls on developed countries.

Without a predictable and powerful financial support, it is not possible to combat climate change on a global scale.

We think that everyone should assume responsibility for an effective struggle against this global issue.

I believe that our vigorous message as G20 Leaders on this issue will lead to a positive impact on the process leading to the Paris Climate Conference.

Distinguished members of the press,

Global trade was among the topics we discussed as Leaders.

During Antalya Summit, we sought answers to the question, “how we can reverse the slowdown that occurred following the global crisis in international trade”.

We also pointed to the importance of a strong and multilateral trading system at the centre of which the World Trade Organization stands.

At the same time, we emphasized that regional trade agreements, the number of which has been growing, should be compatible with the multilateral trading system and have an inclusive structure.

We have expressed our wish for positive outcomes of the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization to be held in Nairobi in December.

I believe that the solution of problems in global trade is possible, as in other matters, only if an approach based on the principle of justice is adopted.

Distinguished members of the press,

I wish the outcome of the G20 Antalya Summit may be beneficial for our country and the entire world.

On this occasion, I would like to thank all Heads of State and Government, who attended the G20 Antalya Summit.

I would also like to express my gratitude before your presence to those who contributed to the preparatory work and organization of the Summit.

I wish in advance that the Summit to be held next year during the G20 Presidency of the People’s Republic of China, may yield beneficial results.

I extend my respects to all of you.

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