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IMF due in Ankara for talks on loan

ANKARA, December 15 – Officials of the International Monetary Fund will travel to Ankara early in January to discuss a new loan to help Turkey deal with the effects of the economic crisis, the treasury said on Monday.

"Important progress had been made in the technical work to conclude a programme between Turkey and the IMF," the treasury6 said in a statement. The IMF would be in Ankara to discuss the terms of any new programme, it added.

But it did not say if the government would receive fresh loans even before the visit, as suggested in some press reports.

Specialists have suggested that what might be under negotiation is a credit line of 25 billion dollars (18.6 billion euros) lasting between 18 and 24 months.

Turkey completed a three-year 10-billion-dollar stand-by deal with the IMF in May, which significantly stabilised the economy and resulted in strong growth in the wake of a severe financial crisis in 2001.

Business leaders and senior economists have been pressing the government to negotiate a fresh deal withthe IMF to help reduce the impact of the world economic crisis.

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