Currently coming in at number 17 in nominal terms according to 2012 IMF figures (and 16 by purchasing power parity), Turkey has set an ambitious goal of becoming one of the world’s 10 largest economies by 2023, the centennial of the founding of the republic. A fiscally conservative and pro-business government has a firm grip on power and is taking a long-term approach to economic reforms and development.
While the EU accession process remains on hold, significant progress has been made of late in addressing the long-running conflict with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with a ceasefire in place and PKK fighters withdrawing from the country as of early May 2013.
Turkey has become increasingly prominent in regional and global affairs as well. It has at times served as a role model for Arab Spring nations like Egypt and Tunisia that are undergoing political transformation. Nevertheless international criticism is on the rise with regards to press freedoms.