Parliament ratifies Turkey’s 2019 budget after long marathon

ANADOLU AGENCY
ANKARA
Published 22.12.2018 00:00
Updated 22.12.2018 12:35
Deputies from the ruling AK Party pose for a souvenir photo marking the end of 2019 budget talks at the general assembly hall of Turkey's Parliament, in Ankara, on Dec. 22, 2018. (AA Photo)
Deputies from the ruling AK Party pose for a souvenir photo marking the end of 2019 budget talks at the general assembly hall of Turkey's Parliament, in Ankara, on Dec. 22, 2018. (AA Photo)

Turkish lawmakers ratified the country's 2019 budget, the first of the country's newly-adopted executive presidential system, early Saturday following a 12-day marathon session in the general assembly.

Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım announced that the budget was backed by 335 lawmakers while 166 voted against it in the 600-seat chamber.

For 2019, Turkey is reportedly targeting 949 billion Turkish lira ($178 billion) in expenditures for public agencies and 867 billion Turkish lira ($163 billion) in general revenue.

Lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voted 'Yes' for the budget.

Beginning on Oct. 23, the budget talks in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) Planning and Budget Commission and General Assembly lasted for 345 hours amid heated debates.

The talks included budgets of 101 public institutions and 125 universities.

The debate at the commission went on for 19 sessions lasted a total of 190 hours and 34 minutes. The general assembly talks, which began on Dec. 10, lasted for 12 sessions totaling 155 hours. The minutes of the budget talks have reached 4,298 pages.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputies spoke for 144 times, mainly against the budget. AK Party followed with 133 speeches.

Turkey's economy grew 5.2 percent in the April-June period and 7.3 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

Ankara targets 3.5 percent growth in 2020 and 5 percent in 2021, according to the new economic program announced by Finance Minister Berat Albayrak on Sept. 20.

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