On the data calendar of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), March 31 was the day to release the country’s fourth-quarter economic growth for 2016 and thus the overall rate for the year. The figures came as a surprise. Following a contraction in the third quarter, the Turkish economy rebounded strongly in the fourth quarter, growing 3.5%. This put the overall growth rate for 2016 at 2.9%. Hungry to showcase some economic success, Ankara was in an upbeat mood, but the figures rekindled questions on just how reliable the data is — a debate that had flared in December, when TUIK announced a retrospective revision of whole data sets, using a new calculation method.
For the majority of Turkish economists, excluding those who curry favor with the government, the credibility of the data is questionable.