Turkey touts tech credentials at CeBIT fair

February 28, 2011
A man walks past an IBM "welcome to a smarter planet" logo as preparations are under way for the CeBIT IT fair in Hanover, central Germany. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan talked up the Turkish technology industry Monday ahead of the world's largest IT fair in Germany, where Turkey is this year "partner country."

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan talked up the Turkish technology industry Monday ahead of the world's largest IT fair in Germany, where Turkey is this year "partner country."

" is already today above the European average ... including when it comes to high-tech," Erdogan said ahead of his inauguration of the CeBIT fair in Hanover later Monday with Chancellor .

"Lots of international firms ... have recognised the potential of our country and are investing large sums in Turkey -- in particular in the IT and telecoms sector," he told the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung daily.

"Not only was Turkey Europe's fastest-growing economy in 2010, all the forecasts indicate that it will be in 2011 too."

More than 4,200 tech firms from 70 countries, including 100 from Turkey, feature at this year's , which opens Tuesday, for a five-day event expected to attract around 350,000 people.

Erdogan was due to hold political talks with Merkel later Monday likely to focus on Turkey's stumbling bid to join the -- opposed by Germany -- and the situation in Libya and the wider Arab world.

"EU membership remains our strategic aim, which is why we are complying with the necessary commitments," Erdogan said. "Turkey, which is part of Europe, belongs to all important Western organisations -- except the EU."

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